Maryland Teen Driver Safety and Accident Statistics

The AAA has a new report on the hazards of teen driving, not only for the young drivers behind the wheel but to their passengers, people in other cars, and pedestrians. The report states that in fatal auto accidents involving teenage drivers, the majority of people killed are passengers and others involved besides the young drivers themselves.

As Baltimore Maryland injury lawyers, my partners and I are aware of what can go wrong when a young driver makes a mistake in judgment or loses control when operating a motor vehicle. Some national statistics from the AAA report:

  • 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.

Maryland Law and Teenage Drivers
Maryland car accidents involving teenage drivers are on the minds of our state’s insurance officials and lawmakers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) made a statement before the Maryland Senate Committee on Judicial Proceedings 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 1998-2007, in 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. 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. Links for both the AAA report and IIHS statement are below.

Teen Drivers Pose Bigger Threat To Others Feb. 27, 2009
Related Web Resources

AAA Report: Teen Crashes: Everyone Is At Risk
People Fatally-Injured In Motor Vehicle Crashes Involving 15- to 17-Year-Olds
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:
Statement before the Maryland Senate Committee on Judicial Proceedings on Senate Bill 265:
Passenger and Nighttime Restrictions for Young Drivers

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