Teen Drivers Remain Over-Represented in Road Fatalities

By Omid Ghoreishi, Epoch Times
October 15, 2013 Updated: October 15, 2013

Teen drivers continue to be over-represented in traffic fatalities, according to a new report. 

The report, compiled by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), found that although there has been a decline in the number of teen drivers killed in accidents, there remains a large number of fatalities among this age group. 

In 2010, drivers between 16 to 19 years old were 30 percent more likely to die in a road accident than those aged 20 or over, the report says. 

TIRF, a national charitable road safety research institute, made its analysis by reviewing Canadian research published over the past decade. The analysis is sponsored by the State Farm insurance company. 

“Several factors play a role in teen driver road crashes including inexperience, peer pressure, and biological changes,” Ward Vanlaar, TIRF’s vice president of research, said in a statement. 

“Efforts by researchers, governments, and other stakeholders to address these issues with evidence-based solutions are having positive effects, but these analyses suggest that not all teens are getting the message and continued attention to the problem is needed.”

The report shows that close to three quarters of all teen drivers killed in road crashes are male. 

Alcohol plays a major factor in these incidents, with over one third of teen drivers in road accidents testing positive for either alcohol or drugs in 2010. Close to half of the teen drivers testing positive for alcohol had one or more passengers in the vehicle. 

Another major factor in the fatalities is speed, with over one quarter of teen drivers getting killed in accidents as a result of over-speeding. Among female teen drivers, almost one-fifth of driver fatalities are due to distraction. 

According to Transport Canada, while only 13 percent of licensed drivers are aged 16-24, 24 percent of road fatalities and 26 percent of serious injuries occur among this age group.

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