Per mile driven, the rate of serious vehicle crashes, including fatal ones, involving teens remains tragically high — about three times higher than that for adults. Parents can help to avoid heartbreak by considering safety when choosing a vehicle for their teen. Consider the recent study which compiled relevant data regarding teen fatalities and vehicles driven:
A. T. McCartt, E. R. Teoh, Department of Research, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Given teenagers’ elevated crash rates, it is especially important that their vehicles have key safety features and good crash protection. A profile of vehicles driven by teenagers killed in crashes was developed. Data on vehicles of drivers ages 15–17 and ages 35–50 who died in crashes during 2008–2012 were obtained from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Using vehicle identification numbers, the vehicle make, model and model year were identified. 29% of fatally injured teenagers were driving mini or small cars, 82% were driving vehicles at least 6 years old, and 48% were driving vehicles at least 11 years old. Compared with middle-aged drivers, teenagers’ vehicles more often were small or mini cars or older vehicles. Few teenagers’ vehicles had electronic stability control or side airbags as standard features. Parents should consider safety when choosing vehicles for their teenagers
*Dianne Anderson is the mother of the late Casey Feldman and the wife of Joel Feldman. A retired attorney, Dianne is the co-founder of the Casey Feldman Foundation and its sponsored project, EndDD.org. She can be reached at [email protected].