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Partners for Safe Teen Driving: A Virginia Health Initiative

Posted By Regan Zambri & Long || 20-Nov-2007

We have addressed the dangers associated with teen driving many times here on the DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog.  While awareness is important, awareness alone won’t solve the problems associated with dangerous teen driving.  Partners for Safe Teen Driving is a program that enables schools and communities to help their teens become safer drivers.  The program was co-created by the Prince William County Public School System, the Virginia Department of Education, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Virginia Association of Driver Education and Traffic Safety.  Four school systems in Virginia have already implemented successful programs based on the step-by-step approach outlined on the partnership website, and taken steps toward improving the safety of their roads and their teenagers.

In addition to helpful community organizing approaches and tips, the website also provides the following facts and figures, compiled to educate parents and teenage drivers and help reduce the incidence of teenage automobile crashes:

  • "Driving is the most dangerous daily activity we can undertake.
  • Car crashes are the #1 cause of death among American teenagers.
  • The average American makes 50,000 car trips in his/her lifetime. Based on this average, the odds of being killed in a car accident are 1 in 140.
  • The odds of being killed in a plane crash are 1 in 250,000.
  • In the last 100 years, 2 million Americans died in car crashes.
  • Over the last decade, more than 68,000 teens have died in car crashes 10,000 more than the total number of Americans who died during the Viet Nam War.
  • More than 6,000 teens died in car crashes in the United States in 2003, and more than 500,000 suffered life-altering injuries.
  • The per-mile fatality rate for 16- to 19-year-olds is four times that of adults.
  • Teenagers make up only 10% of the U.S. population, but suffer 14% of all vehicular fatalities and 20% of all reported crashes.
  • In 2002, the estimated economic cost of police-reported crashes (both fatal and non-fatal) involving drivers ages 15 to 20 was $40.8 billion.
  • Nearly half of all fatal car crashes involving teen drivers are single-car crashes. Teens are more likely than any other age group to be involved in a single-car crash.
  • One-third of all fatal accidents involving teen drivers are caused by speed.
  • The accident rate among teen drivers doubles when the number of passengers in the car increases from two to three.
  • 61% of fatally injured teen passengers were killed in cars driven by teens.
  • More than 60% of teens killed in car accidents were not wearing seat belts.
  • 53% of all teen deaths due to car accidents occur during weekends.
  • 41% of fatal crashes involving teens occur between 9 PM and 6 AM.
  • The first 1,000 hours behind the wheel are the most dangerous for teenagers.
  • The 16-year-old population in the U.S. will increase from 3.5 million to 4 million within the next 5 years. That means there will be 26.1 million 16- to 20-year-old drivers on the nations roads by 2010, a 23% increase over the number of teens driving today.
  • In Virginia alone, 92,000 new drivers receive their licenses each year in Virginia – and most of them are teens.
  • The number of fatal car crashes among teens in Virginia is increasing at a rate of approximately 10% every year.
  • In Virginia in fiscal year 2003, there were 144 fatal car crashes involving teenagers. A total of 163 teens – an average of more than three per week – died on Virginia roads in 2003."

    Previously on the DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog, we have posted articles related to:

    For information about your legal rights, please click here or call the law firm of Regan Zambri & Long, PLLC at 202-759-6699.

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