OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
3:35 PM – Tuesday, October 24, 2023
Car accident and fatality rates among young drivers under the age of 21 have fallen drastically within the last 20 years, according to a surfaced report.
On October 18th, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), a non-profit organization of state highway safety offices, published a report utilizing data from 2002 through 2021 that highlighted a wide age range of drivers in the United States.
In the report, it states that car crashes among under-21 drivers decreased by 38% and deaths resulted from car accidents among young drivers dropped by about 45%. However, the reports of drivers 21 and older claim that crashes increased by 8% and accident-related deaths increased by 11%.
Although the rates involving young drivers have dropped, the organization also mentioned that under-21 drivers are “still the most dangerous group behind the wheel.”
The association’s memo goes on to explain several factors that have improved young people’s driving statistics.
Pam Shadel Fischer, the author of the GHSA report, made a statement to the press regarding the newly released data.
“Young drivers are the riskiest age group on the road, and the reasons are straightforward — immaturity and inexperience,” Fischer told the press. ”Many young drivers simply don’t have the behind-the-wheel experience to recognize risk and take the appropriate corrective action to prevent a crash.”
Additionally, the report acknowledged that drivers under the age of 21 years old are driving much less than they were 20 years ago. It highlighted many reasons for the improved driving, while providing some additional recommendations for building on them.
The GHSA cited education as being one of the two major reasons that have impacted the decrease in fatal crashes, especially when parents were involved. The other factor was “staggered privileges.”
In the report, there were a few programs mentioned on the list of effective solutions regarding issues with driving. These programs, called graduated drivers license laws, consist of placing limits on driving privileges that wind down as the driver ages.
These factors involve restricting or banning specific activities that impact driving, such as driving at night, driving on busy Interstate Highways, or having other people riding in the car.
The GHSA also suggests that these driving programs should be strengthened, stretching them to affect drivers 18 to 20 years old.
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