We all remember turning age sixteen and looking forward to driving because it gave us a sense of newly found freedom away from our parents. Unfortunately, a new study by AAA Arizona, suggests that teenage driving can also lead to much more tragic results.
According to the study released by the Arizona Automobile Association,
fatal wrecks in Arizona involving teenage drivers kill three people for each teen driver who dies
the new AAA study analyzed federal fatal-wreck data from 1995 to 2004. It shows that most of the victims in fatal wrecks involving drivers ages 15 to 17 are the drivers of other vehicles, passengers in their vehicle or another vehicle, and pedestrians. AAA information from Phoenix Republican Rep. Colette Rosati said 15- to 20-year-olds are 6.3 percent of drivers, but this group is involved in 13.6 percent of deadly crashes. In addition, the fatal crash rate per mile driven is twice as high for 16-year-olds as for 18- to 19-year-olds, according to the data in a AAA fact sheet on teen driver safety.
According to the Arizona Daily Star, this legislative session, Representative Collete Rosati will introduce legislation requiring additional teenage driver training and restricted night time driving. These new measures will not necessarily stop bad teenage driving but they may slow down the increasing number of driving tragedies.
In Arizona, we should not only fix our unsafe and broken freeways, but we should also take steps to limit the number of inexperenced drivers on our roadways. I for one think that requiring additional driver training and education may help more than just teenage drivers.