There is another reason to be extra careful on the roads and watch out for one another. Many of those drivers are teenagers and lack experience. Rose White with Triple-A Nebraska says there are several other contributing factors to the high rate of teen driver accidents.
White says, “The latest research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that when a teen driver has only teen passengers in their vehicle, the fatality rate for all people involved in a crash increased 51-percent. In contrast, when older passengers, 35 or older ride with the teen driver, overall fatality rates in crashes decreased eight percent. Factors that increase the risk for teen drivers include nighttime driving, speeding and carrying additional teenage passengers.”
AAA encourages Nebraska parents to accept and help enforce passenger restrictions for their children. It is also a good idea to sit in the passenger seat often so parents and adults can monitor the driving skills of a teenager.
AAA Nebraska also reminds parents and teen drivers there are restrictions that include cell phone use, seat belt use, nighttime driving and zero tolerance for alcohol consumption.
In 2017, Nebraska teen drivers, ages 15 to 19, were involved in 3,071 crashes that resulted in 30 fatalities and 3,041 injuries. Those drivers represent only 7.3% of all licensed drivers in the state but were responsible for 21% of reported accidents. Also in 2017, 72.7% of the 22 teen traffic fatalities involving drivers and passengers ages 13 to 19 were not wearing a seat belt.
According to the Nebraska Department of Highway Safety, statistics for 2017 show that 20% of those accidents happened between 9 p.m. and midnight and 15% were between midnight and 3 a.m. Of those accidents, 23% involved the use of a cell phone, 27% were speeding and 26% were rear-end collisions. Twenty-four percent were single vehicle rollover accidents and 11% involved alcohol use.