Teens driving old cars at higher risk of death
Not surprisingly, most teenage drivers in the U.S. drive older cars. But that could be placing them at higher risk of serious injury or death, according to a study published in the journal Injury Prevention.
Overall, the rates of fatal crashes are about three times higher for teenagers than they are for other adult drivers, usually related to the problems they have in maintaining control of their vehicles.
In the new study, the researchers analyzed data from the US Fatality Analysis Reporting System - which collects information on all vehicle collisions that result in a fatality within 30 days of the incident. The time period the study looked at was 2008 to 2012. Although one in three fatally injured teen drivers died in a mid-size or larger car, the researchers found that they were significantly more likely than middle-aged drivers to be fatally injured in a smaller car – 29 percent of the fatally injured teenagers died in a small car, compared with 20 percent of fatally injured middle-aged drivers.
The research also showed that vehicles that were at least six years old were involved in 82 percent of the teen driver fatalities. Also, 34 percent of the vehicles involved in teen fatalities were six to 10 years old, 31 percent were 11 to 15 years old and 17 percent were 16 or more years old.
The researchers calculated that fatally injured teens were almost twice as likely as middle-aged drivers to be driving a car that was 11 to 15 years old.