According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), nearly 18,000 teens in the U.S. ages 16 to 19 died in car accidents from 2006 to 2010. In fact the fatal crash rate for 16 to 19 year olds in the U.S. is nearly three times the rate for drivers ages 20 and older. Erie Insurance worked with IIHS to conduct an exclusive analysis of crash data from the U.S. Department of Transportation to show how states compare in terms of the relative danger of car accident deaths when teens are behind the wheel.
It was reported by IIHS that Saturday is the most deadly day for teenage drivers in the South. Alabama and Mississippi are near the top of the list of states with the highest teen driving death rates. The states are third and fourth on the list compiled by the Erie Insurance Company and IIHS. Sadly, Alabama and Mississippi teen driver death rates were far above the national average. The list reveals:
• 31.2 deaths per 100,000 people in Alabama.
• 32.3 deaths per 100,000 people in Mississippi.
The national rate is 16.2 deaths per 100,000 people. According to the study, nearly 18,000 teens, aged 16 to 19, died in car accidents during the reporting period, 2006 to 2010, resulting in a fatal-crash rate nearly three times that of drivers 20 and older. May is the most deadly month for teenage drivers in Mississippi, the study showed, with August being the worst for Alabama teens. Wyoming is the most deadly state for teen drivers followed by Montana, Mississippi, West Virginia, Arkansas and Alabama. It was reported that the District of Columbia, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Jersey were the safest states.
Erie Insurance is taking steps to reduce the teen death rate with “Shift,” a driver safety program designed for teens to share good driving tips and experiences and warn their peers of bad driving behavior. The program includes a contest to award $20,000 in cash prizes to teens and their schools for sharing the safe-driving message. The contest is open to teens in the 11 states and the District of Columbia where Erie Insurance has operations. Karen Kraus Phillips, Vice-President at Erie Insurance, had this to say:
Inexperience combined with a never ending list of distractions can add up to a deadly combination for teen drivers. Our goal is to reduce the high number of teen injuries and deaths that happen on the road every year. We think we’ve found an engaging way for teens to spread the word about protecting themselves on the road.
IIHS notes that state graduated driver licensing laws (GDL) have helped reduce teen crash rates significantly in recent years, but these laws vary in strength. Research shows that every state could reduce its teen crash rate by adopting stronger GDL laws.
Source: AL.com and ClaimsJournal.com
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