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Old 01-18-06, 02:11 PM   #1
slagjumper
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15 to 17 year olds killed 2,323 pedestrians and bicyclists in 9 years

Report: Teen drivers pose broad risk
Pedestrians, occupants of other cars frequently victims

Wednesday, January 18, 2006; Posted: 2:34 p.m. EST (19:34 GMT)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- About one-third of the people killed in automobile crashes involving the nation's youngest drivers were pedestrians or occupants of other vehicles, according to a report released Wednesday.

An analysis of federal crash statistics by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that nearly 31,000 people were killed in crashes involving drivers between the ages of 15 and 17 between 1995 and 2004.

The foundation said it was surprised to learn that one-third of those deaths involved pedestrians and people in other vehicles. (Watch the aftermath of a deadly wreck involving a teen driver -- 1:08)

"While we may think of this as being a teen driver problem, it really affects a much broader audience," said Robert Darbelnet, AAA president and chief executive. (Read his interview with CNN)

Safety groups said the statistics highlight the need for states to strengthen laws involving graduated licensing programs, which place restrictions upon beginning drivers and outline training programs.

"Highway safety programs to date have largely focused on the effects of these crashes on the teen drivers themselves, but this analysis shows that programs need to focus on the impact on others as well," said Lt. Col. Jim Champagne, chairman of the Governors Highway Safety Association.

The report found that of the 30,917 deaths during the span, 11,177, or 36.2 percent, were teen drivers.

The death toll included 9,847 passengers of the teen drivers, or 31.8 percent; 7,477 occupants of other vehicles operated by drivers at least 18 years of age, or 24.2 percent; and 2,323 pedestrians and bicyclists, or 7.5 percent. There were 93 fatalities in which the ages of the victims were unknown.

Every state has some form of a graduated licensing program but they vary in their scope. Darbelnet said the foundation considers a comprehensive program to include at least 50 hours of supervised driving with an adult, restrictions of the time of day when a beginning driver can use a vehicle and limits on the number of passengers in the vehicle without a supervising adult.

Safety groups say distractions and risks grow sharply for teen drivers at night and when they travel with their friends.

"Regardless of what the state law says, parents should not allow their teen to ride with other teen drivers, nor should they be allowed to transport other teens in the first year of driving," Darbelnet said.

Kathy Fowler, 37, a medical reporter for WJLA-TV in Washington, survived a crash on a rural road in Ohio when she was 18. Two other people were killed in the accident.

"I guess as teenagers you think you're invincible, immortal," she said. "None of us realized back then that something we did in a split second could have such a lifelong impact and create so much pain for so many people."

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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Old 01-18-06, 03:40 PM   #2
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Since the article or study does not equate young driver statistics with other age groups, I can only assume that is a biased study/article simply done to push laws involving graduated licensing programs, which place restrictions upon beginning drivers.

If we did a study of 30 to 50 year old drivers, the results would likely be the same and 75-80 even worse.

A lot of 30-50 year olds also kill pedestrians and other vehicle occupants. Probably at least a third, same as the 15-17 age group.

So graduated license programs starting at age 15 and you may get full driving privileges at age 50 might make more sense.
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Old 01-18-06, 03:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by CB HI
Since the article or study does not equate young driver statistics with other age groups, I can only assume that is a biased study/article simply done to push laws involving graduated licensing programs, which place restrictions upon beginning drivers.

If we did a study of 30 to 50 year old drivers, the results would likely be the same and 75-80 even worse.

A lot of 30-50 year olds also kill pedestrians and other vehicle occupants. Probably at least a third, same as the 15-17 age group.

So graduated license programs starting at age 15 and you may get full driving privileges at age 50 might make more sense.
I think that all "extra danger groups" should only be allowed to drive orange honda 600s and Minies.

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Old 01-18-06, 04:09 PM   #4
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Talking to anyone who sells insurance, they will tell you that the accident statistics bear this "bias" out in fact. Maybe old Honda 600's are too big and powerful for this age group--maybe it's time to bring back the old East German Trabant as a beginner car!
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Old 01-18-06, 04:17 PM   #5
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I think under 18 is too young to drive on today's crowded highways.

I was lucky my son had no real interest in driving till he was 18, He only wanted the ID so he could go to concerts. When he did finally begin to drive in his senior year of HS, I put him in my Volvo S80 and explained he had free use of it until he started college, but if he scratched my gilded cage he would not ever need condoms because I would cut his nuts off with a rusty knife. I also told him never to answer the cell phone when he was driving because it just might be me calling. No problems ever.
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Old 01-18-06, 04:46 PM   #6
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Why is it assumed that a younger new driver is worse than an older new driver? Perhaps no one should ever drive on public roads for XX amount of months/years.
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Old 01-18-06, 05:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Feldman
Talking to anyone who sells insurance, they will tell you that the accident statistics bear this "bias" out in fact. Maybe old Honda 600's are too big and powerful for this age group--maybe it's time to bring back the old East German Trabant as a beginner car!
The Trabbie would probably make safer drivers of teenagers while giving them a marketable skill (auto mechanic). Reminds me of a joke poster I saw advertising the Trabant....

"Burns same fuel as Porsche and Ferrari"
"Same body construction as Corvette" (it's made of plastic)
"Runs on same roads as Lamborghini"

Better yet, let's put the teenagers in those 3 wheeled vehicles that can be found in India and some other places. Those things would be harder to soup up and lack the power/space for all the gazillion watt stereos and entertainment systems.
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Old 01-18-06, 05:05 PM   #8
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How about making them spend a year riding a bicycle before they can drive a car.

And test them on the bicycle.
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Old 01-19-06, 06:52 AM   #9
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I want that Honda! That's well into the "so ugly it's cool" area!

ObTopic: Pretty much every year up until the age of about 24, I thought "I'm a much better driver than I was last year; I wouldn't ride as a passenger with myself of 2 years ago driving." I don't think my driving skills were really perfected until well into my 20s.
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Old 01-19-06, 07:23 AM   #10
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I want that Honda! That's well into the "so ugly it's cool" area!

ObTopic: Pretty much every year up until the age of about 24, I thought "I'm a much better driver than I was last year; I wouldn't ride as a passenger with myself of 2 years ago driving." I don't think my driving skills were really perfected until well into my 20s.
it was the same for me except then I realised that I was actually just as bad a driver as everyone else
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Old 01-19-06, 09:18 AM   #11
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Well I first started driving when I was 15. I had no license, because you had to be at least 16 in PA at the time. Since I more or less was stealing my family car, I had a (tiny bit) more concern about how I was driving. Of course this was before cells and blackberries. The first day I drove, I had planned on only going around the block. But I found it much easier than I had expected and so drove around the whole day. I even went on the Parkway. No problems. I had several idiocy induced near misses in the comming months, but no metal to metal or flesh contact. I once actually hit 55 on some insanely sharp s curves and nearly lost control. The car zig zaged each time heading me towards a pole or tree. Luckily I did not hit and merely came to rest perpendicular in the road.

Some of my friends where not so lucky. One died and another wrapped the family car around a tree. Another rolled the family suburban. Seems like they should at least update the educational scare films. But then the'd have to start the drivers ed classes again.


Sure some people are bad drivers regardless of age and sex, but you can quantify the worst groups and do something about those. It would be great if young teens would see cars for the crap they are. Even a 50K Mercedies, is just a car--metal, plastic and gas. Unfortunatly the myth makers are so good at creating desire that teens think that they need a car to survive the social tensions of teenhood. Sad.
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Old 01-19-06, 10:34 AM   #12
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My dad had a Trabant: 2 cylinders, 2 strokes, ~30 bhp. You had to pop the hood to fuel it up and the only guage it had was a speedometer, even no fuel guage (dad installed his own turning signal indicators ): no distractions!! no radio!!

Couple days ago at a stop sign a young driver (dunno if new driver) peeled out beside me (for effect?). Well, in a Trabant at least he would stall .
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Old 01-19-06, 10:37 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by velonomad
but if he scratched my gilded cage he would not ever need condoms because I would cut his nuts off with a rusty knife.
That wouldn't stop him from catching aids.
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