While many people still lump teen drivers in with the term ‘dangerous’, in reality a new US report has discovered fatal car accidents involving teenage drivers have actually fallen by more than 50 percent in the last decade.
The report cited two main reasons for the decline. Safer vehicles now being more ‘the norm’, and teenagers being issued restricted licenses. The restrictions they face usually limit the number of nighttime hours they can drive, and also have limitations on teenage passengers.
Incidences of accidents involving teen drivers also tended to be higher in rural areas than in cities as, for teens living in cities, taking public transportation is easier and the distances they have to travel to get to their destination tends to be less.
Raymond Bingham from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute also had some interesting opinions as to why teen accidents have fallen so much.
While Bingham was not involved in the study nor was Ivan Ong, he told Reuters his research has shown the poor US economy has also had an effect on the number of teens being allowed to drive. That’s because many families cannot afford the luxury of paying for gas for a teenager to go out with his friends, or to drive to the shopping mall.
As a high percentage of accidents involving teens do occur when they are out having fun, and not out driving on work or school-related trips, this could also have had an impact.
Interestingly too, this trend was noticed as far back as 2010, when a study released back then showed there was a 36 percent drop in fatal car accidents involving teens. Five years later, and that percentage continues to rise.