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Report: 30 percent of fatalities involving teenage drivers weren't in the car

Posted On Mon, January 24, 2011 A new report issued from State Farm and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is shedding light on just how impactful car accidents are, as an estimated 30 percent of people killed in accidents involving teen drivers weren't in the teen's car.

"When most people think about those affected by teen driver crashes, they think of the teens behind the wheel," said Dr. Dennis Durbin of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and co-author of the report. "We must also consider the significant impact of these crashes on other members of our communities: occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and other road-users."

The numbers reflect car accidents occurring in 2008, when approximately 681,000 people were involved in an accident involving a teenage driver. Collecting statistics from a variety of federal data banks, the report pinpoints four factors that influence the high fatality rate: lack of seat belts, alcohol use, speeding and distracted driving.

The thrust of the report, however, is to inform policy makers of the ripple effect teenage driving accidents can have - both physically and psychologically - and what policy makers can do to determine how safely teenagers are driving in their state.

Because teenagers get into more accidents than any other age group, it can be very costly to insure a young driver. To avoid high premiums, parents are often advised to add their teenager to their auto insurance policy once he or she receives a driver's license. 

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