Accidents and “Near” Accidents Involving Teen Drivers

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In a new study involving automobile accidents and teen drivers, 68 percent of teens said that they have narrowly avoided a crash, and more than half said they have had more than one close call in the past year. Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) surveyed more than 2,000 students in 28 high schools for the study. Of the students that said they have had a close call in the last year, 55 percent blamed other drivers or bad weather, yet when they were asked what they were doing at the time of the near accident, 30 percent said they were speeding, 21 percent said they were texting and 20 percent said they were conversing with other passengers in the car.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teens are four times more likely to be involved in an automobile accident than older drivers. The CDC estimated that approximately 2,000 teens were killed in automobile accidents during 2009 and 350,000 were treated for personal injuries.
The Liberty Mutual/SADD study showed that teenagers are more likely to change their driving habits after being involved in a car crash. Only 36 percent said that their habits changed only for a few months, whereas the rest said that they changed their habits permanently. For parents who want to monitor their teens driving behavior, smart phone applications such as iGuardianTeen and Speedbump are available. In addition, navigation devices such as MobileTeen GPS are also available. For more information on this topic, see Most teen drivers admit to narrowly avoiding an accident.

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