AAA: Crashes remain leading cause of death for teens in U.S. - WNEM TV 5

AAA: Crashes remain leading cause of death for teens in U.S.

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The nation marks National Teen Driver Safety Week and travel agency AAA has a word of caution for you.

Crashes remain the leading cause of death for teens in the United States.

According to a recent report  from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 3,500 people lost their lives in car crashes involving a teen driver. Of those deadly crashes, 115 were from Michigan.

“The challenge of being a novice driver on today’s roads presents an even higher risk for teens,” said Susan Hiltz, Michigan public affairs director for AAA – The Auto Club. “It’s important for all of us to set a good example, encourage teens be safe drivers and always help support safety behind the wheel.”

According to AAA, top dangers for teen drivers are:

  • Alcohol Use
  • Distraction
  • Speeding
  • Drowsy Driving
  • Not wearing a seat belt

About a quarter of the teen drivers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking, according to the report. 

A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, also found that nearly 60 percent of teen crashes are caused by distraction.

Here are some safety tips from AAA for parents of teen drivers: 

  • Set a good example as a driver
  • Talk early and often about the dangers of underage drinking, impaired driving and distracted driving
  • Make a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules against dangerous behaviors
  • Enroll them in a driver education program
  • Help them practice in varying weather conditions
  • Coach them through the learning-to-drive process
  • Stay engaged as teens are licensed
  • Monitor their driving activity
  • Use AAA’s award-winning website

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