Teenage auto accidents cost U.S. $34 billion annually
Something to think about, when you climb behind the wheel..
A study undertaken by the American Automobile Association (AAA) has found car crashes involving 15-17 year old teenagers cost the U.S. over $34 billion each year. The study takes into account a number of quantifiable factors related to crashes including the cost of medical expenses, lost work and property damage as well as other related costs such as loss of quality of life.
The study took into account data from 2006, during which there were almost one million crashes involving 15-17 year olds on U.S. roads. Of these, around 400,000 people were injured and 2,541 killed. These crashes that involved injuries accounted for the bulk of the $34 billion cost estimate because most required expensive ongoing medical costs.
On a dollars-per-incident basis, fatal crashes were found to be 76 times more expensive to society than regular injury crashes, with fatal crashes costing $3.8 million on average and injury crashes rating just $50,000.
The AAA claims the study proves legislators need to improve graduated driver licensing schemes in American states if they hope to counter the nearly one million crashes involving 15- to 17-year-olds annually. Graduated licensing will ensure teens get adequate practice before hitting the road solo. Graduated driver schemes have proven their benefit, with teens that undergo the program being almost 40% less likely to be involved in a fatal crash than their less experienced peers.
Similar schemes introduced in Australia in recent years have led to reductions in the death toll for young drivers, with numbers in the state of New South Wales alone dropping from 144 deaths in 2006 to 100 just one year later.
Other solutions include placing restrictions on night time driving and the number of allowable passengers.
Reduce accidents 40%. Inform the idiots in their ricers that when you make something go faster you also need to make it able to stop faster. I'm currently 15 and I can back our 85 GMC mason dump into a garage where there is maybe 2" of clearance on either side of the mirrors when they are unfolded. Let kids go fast. So many kids have quads or dirtbikes, but mommy and daddy don't think about a place to ride so they end up getting in more trouble over that. Give kids somewhere to ride the quads and they'll get their speed out on them. I've had a quad since I was 11 and I've realized on the ones I've had over the years that you have to have respect for the vehicle and the speeds it can obtain safely. Now if you can't afford some sort of ATV then you can't do that, but if you can't afford one of them then you can't afford to rice out your stupid Civic or whatever crap car you have.
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