The Insurance Information Institute reports that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among teens ages 15 to 20. An article posted on TheTimes.com details the alarming statistics about teen traffic deaths.
The national numbers for 2005 include 3,467 fatalities for drivers ages 15 to 20, and 281,000 injuries for kids in this age group due to motor vehicle crashes. In Alabama alone there were 137 teen traffic deaths in 2005.
Officials blame a number of reasons for these sad numbers. Inexperience, poor judgment and distractions top the list. Failure to yield is the top cause of traffic accidents for teens.
“I would say inexperience is one of the major factors, but not the only factor,” said Eddie Russell, coordinator with the North Alabama Traffic Safety Office in Tuscumbia. “More times than not, young drivers run up on a situation that they don’t know how to handle and the way they react can mean the difference between life and death.”
“They have cell phones, iPods, MP3 players and stereos. All of those can cause someone, experienced or inexperienced to lose their concentration,” Russell said. “And when you’re driving
, you need to have total concentration on driving, nothing else.”