AAA: Teens 3x more likely to be in deadly crash

A wrecked car with a crash dummy through the front windshield sits outside AAA in Attleboro. The display was set up by the Highway Safety Division of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security and AAA to show the danger of driving without a seatbelt. (Photo: Scott Delsole)

ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — Teens just getting behind the wheel have a much greater chance of dying in a crash than adults, according to a AAA study released this week.

The study found that for every mile on the road, 16- and 17-year-old drivers were around three times more likely to be involved in deadly crashes than drivers between the ages of 18 and 59.

According to AAA, distractions, not wearing seat belts, and speeding were the three most common factors in deadly crashes involving teenage drivers. Distraction played a role in nearly 60 percent of all crashes involving teens, AAA found. Teen drivers were most distracted by talking to other passengers and smartphones. The study found 60 percent of teen drivers killed in crashes were not buckled up.

They study coincided with the start of what AAA calls the “100 Deadliest Days.” According to AAA, the number of deadly crashes involving teen drivers jumps 15 percent between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

AAA recommends parents talk to their teens about the dangers of distracted driving and speeding, along with the importance of wearing seat belts. Parents should also set a good example by driving safely themselves.