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THURSDAY, May 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Teen drivers are a threat to everyone on the road, a new study warns.
Sixty-seven percent of people injured and 66 percent of those killed in crashes involving teen drivers are people other than the teen driver, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
That's a large number of people. On U.S. roads in 2013, more than 371,000 people were injured and almost 3,000 were killed in crashes involving teen drivers.
"Teen crash rates are higher than any other age group, and this data confirms that the impact of their crashes extend well beyond the teen who is behind the wheel," Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of the foundation, said in a news release from the AAA.
The analysis of police-reported crashes involving drivers aged 15 to 19 between 1994 and 2013 also found that nearly 50 percent of people injured in those crashes were in another vehicle, 17 percent were in the teen driver's car, and 2 percent were pedestrians or cyclists.
Nearly 30 percent of the people killed in those crashes were in another car, 27 percent were in the teen driver's car, and 10 percent were pedestrians or cyclists.
The findings were released to coincide with the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when deaths in crashes involving teen drivers tend to rise.
In 2013, an average of 220 teen drivers and passengers died in crashes during each of the summer months, 43 percent more than during the rest of the year.
"Since teens drive more during the summer than any other season, this insight is a timely reminder to everyone -- drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists -- to be mindful when sharing the roads with young drivers," Kissinger said.
Rose White, traffic safety director for AAA Nebraska and The Auto Club Group, said, "Keeping teen drivers safe is the shared responsibility of parents, policy makers, other motorists, and obviously the teens themselves."
"We should be especially vigilant over the summer because the negative consequences of not doing so affect all of us," she added.
-- Robert Preidt
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