More teens die in car crashes than any other way, and distracted driving may be the cause

texting-driving
It may be a Sweet Sixteen to the newly licensed driver, but to everyone else on the road, 16-year-olds aren’t so sweet after all. According to a new study released by the American Automobile Association (AAA), teenage drivers are not only endangering themselves with their driving habits, but putting other motorists at risk as well.

While it has long been the case that car crashes are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 15 and 19, the AAA revealed that two-thirds, or nearly 70 percent, of those killed in these crashes are people other than the driver. Around 40 percent of the time, the victims are in another car or are pedestrians.

“Teen crash rates are higher than any other age group,” Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, told NBC News. “And this data confirms that the impact of their crashes extends well beyond the teen who is behind the wheel.”

In 2013, 988 teenage drivers were killed, but this does not account for the 3,000 total deaths that resulted from these accidents, nor the 400,000 associated injuries.

The problem, Kissinger says, is that “young teenage drivers don’t really identify risk the same way that a more mature driver would.” Other contributing factors include lack of experience and overzealousness behind the wheel, but perhaps the most problematic of all the factors at play is the issue of distracted driving.

Today’s teens are the generation that grew up with their smartphones practically attached to their palms, so it is no wonder that young drivers often believe they can multitask while in the car. As we reported earlier in the month, it’s not just texting — smartphone using drivers are also using Facebook, tweeting, and even video chatting while behind the wheel.

While it’s impossible to generalize bad driving habits among all teens, it is worth taking note of these statistics, particularly with the arrival of “The 100 Deadliest Days,” the time from Memorial to Labor Day when young drivers are out of school and out on the roads more frequently than before. So be safe, drivers, and be sure to pass on your safe driving habits to the newest inhabitants of the road.

Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.
Cars

Allegro.ai is helping Hyundai mine the artificial intelligence gold rush

In November 2018, Hyundai invested in a startup named Allegro.ai. We talked to the company's founder to learn more about what that means for consumers in the not-too-distant futures.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Cars

Thinking of opting for a car with a diesel engine? Here's what you need to know

Modern diesel-powered models prove that it is possible to build a clean, efficient diesel engine without sacrificing performance. Here's what you need to know about diesel cars, and how they differ from gasoline-powered models.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Cars

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.
Cars

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.
Cars

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.
Cars

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.
Cars

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.