Study Says Teens Dying in Car Crashes Drive Small, Old Cars


A new study revealed that about half of teen ages 15 to 17-years-old, and who died in a car accident from 2008 to 2012, had cars that were more than 10-years-old. Also, about a third of those teens drove small cars. The findings note that teens overwhelmingly drove smaller and older vehicles. There was also a survey that asked parents about the type of car their child drove. About 60% of the parents said their teenager drove a car that was at least 8-years-old.

Related: Are Fatal Accidents Decreasing This Year In Kentucky?

The car study
This study appeared in the journal Injury Prevention, December 18, 2014. It was written by two researchers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and was supported by the government’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System data from 2008 to 2012. This study clearly tells us that older and smaller cars pose a safety risk to drivers and passengers. While these types of cars may be affordable, we should not compromise our safety or our child’s safety just to save money.

Teenagers are involved in three times as many deadly crashes as all other drivers.

  • A total of 23,869 crashes involving drivers under 21-years-old occurred in 2013.
  • The fatality rate for teen drivers age 16 to 19 is four times that of drivers ages 25 to 69.
  • Kentucky was one of the states with the worst teen driver fatality rate. It was ranked 49th by WaletHub.
  • In 2013, teen deaths in Kentucky reached 40, which is lower than in 2012. There were 58 teen deaths in the state during the previous year.

Car accidents claim lives
Driving a small, old car could be one of the many reasons that cause a teen or young driver to crash. Other causes include: lack of experience, inadequate driving skills, driver distractions, speeding, no seat belt, impaired driving and aggressive driving. Unfortunately, car accidents continue to be the leading cause of death among teens in the country.

Related: Speeding And Under-Development Are A Deadly Issue For Teen Drivers

As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I was a little surprised by the results of this study. Older, smaller cars are definitely more affordable than a new car, that’s no secret. However, that doesn’t mean that all older and small cars are dangerous. As long as the used car is in working condition and all the safety features are working properly, giving a new driver a used car is not a bad idea. That way, they can learn how to drive and take care of a car without having to worry about how much the car would cost them if it was new. So, let’s teach our teens to drive safely in any type of car, new or used. After all, a car is just a car; we care more about who’s inside the car.

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