Study: Teens Responsible for Large Share of Car Crashes

Study: Teens Responsible for Large Share of Car Crashes

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(Salt Lake City-AP) -- Teenagers account for nine percent of Utah's driving population, but they are responsible for one of every five fatal wrecks, according to data collected in 2001 by the Intermountain Injury Control Center at the University of Utah School of Medicine.

In 2001, Utah had 259 fatal crashes, and teen drivers were responsible about 20 percent of the time. Washington, Cache and Davis counties had the highest percentages of crashes caused by teen drivers.

Overall, teen drivers, ages 15 to 19, had more total crashes, injury crashes and fatal crashes, than any other age group of drivers, the data states. In 2001, the most recent year for which complete statistics are available, teens made up eight-point-five percent of all licensed Utah drivers. They were responsible for one-third of the 52-thousand, 704 crashes statewide. Only drivers in the 20-to-24 age group had more fatalities than 15- to 19-year-olds, the data shows.

Excessive speed was cited as the cause of 22-point-seven percent of the fatal accidents caused by teen drivers, followed by driving left of center (12 percent), center statistics show.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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