AAA has found that teenage drivers are more likely to kill someone else than they are themselves in fatal auto accidents, according to Karen Voyles of the Gainesville.com website. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently released the findings of an analysis of auto accidents involving teen drivers over a 10-year span, revealing that the teens are “more than twice as likely to kill someone other than themselves” in a fatal accident. In Florida, less than one-third of 15- to 17-year-old drivers are the victims of their own fatal crashes, with a little more than one-third of them being the victims of their own accidents nationwide. In the United States as a whole, nearly two-thirds of the victims of fatal wrecks caused by teens are people other than the teen drivers: passengers, other vehicle occupants, motorcyclists or bicyclists, pedestrians, and others. In other words, teen driver safety is directly linked to “everyone on the road,” says the vice president of Public & Government Relations for AAA Auto Club South, Kevin Bakewell. The numbers reveal the serious nature of the findings: between 1998 and 2007 in the state of Florida, 1,756 people died in fatal accidents involving 15- to 17-year old drivers. Of the 1,756 victims, 517 were the teenage drivers themselves, while 474 were passengers, 552 were riding in other vehicles (driven by adults), and 213 were non-motorists such as pedestrians and cyclists.
As a result of the study, AAA is pushing for states to “limit passengers to one person under age 20 for the first six months that a teen is licensed; prohibit driving between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. until age 18; and require at least 50 hours of certified driving practice over at least six months before a teen could qualify for a license,” says Voyles.
At Injury Law Service, we handle cases in which families have lost loved ones due to accidents caused by teenage drivers. If you have experienced the indescribable tragedy of a similar loss and have questions for an experienced and compassionate Florida wrongful death lawyer, call our office at 1-866-943-5766. We will answer all of your questions for free with no obligation to you.