Although sad but true, car crashes in the DMV and the United States have claimed the lives of teenagers, innocent pedestrians, and even adults.
In the U.S. between 1998-2007, crashes with drivers aged 15 to 17 resulted in the deaths of 28,138 people. Of the total number killed, about 37% were teen drivers themselves, with 10,388 teenage drivers losing their lives in auto accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) made a statement before the Maryland Senate Committee on Senate Bill 265 presenting research on the hazards of teenage driving, particularly when passengers are involved and when teens drive at night. From the IIHS statement:
“In Maryland between 1998-2009, fatal car crashes involving 16 to 19 year old youths: 353 young drivers and 230 passengers were killed. About 39% of the deaths were passengers. When a Maryland driver is 16, the ratio in fatal accidents is about 50-50, with near equal numbers of drivers and passengers killed.”
Since 1979, Maryland has had a graduated licensing law with nighttime driving restrictions for teenage drivers. Maryland also restricts the numbers of passengers these young drivers may carry (the five month rule). These and other safety measures can and do reduce fatal auto accidents in Maryland: The AAA reported that over the last decade, NHTSA data have shown a reduction in teen driver deaths as well as fatalities for others involved in teen driving accidents.“ The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety analyzed data on fatal motor vehicle crashes from 1998 through 2007 and identified all fatal crashes involving a 15-, 16-, or 17-year-old driver of a passenger vehicle. Over the 10 years from 1998 through 2007, there were 24,655 drivers’ ages 15 through 17 involved in fatal crashes. These crashes killed 28,138 people, of whom 10,388 (36.9%) were the 15-, 16-, and 17-year-old drivers themselves. However, the majority of in those crashes (63.1%) were people other than those drivers, and included 8,829 of...