New data from the City of Austin shows teenage drivers were involved in roughly 970 crashes in Austin last year. More than 50 of those crashes resulted in serious injuries or death.
The release of the alarming data as the United States observes National Teen Driver Safety Week, which runs from October 17 to October 23, 2021.
Car crashes are currently the leading cause of death for young people in the United States, accounting for nearly one-third of all teen deaths according to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. Similarly, the Austin Municipal Court recorded 328 tickets issued to drivers 16 and under over the past 18 months, 40% of which were related to crashes.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says parents can help protect their kids by simply speaking with them about safe and unsafe driving behaviors. Data shows that teens whose parents set firm rules for driving and practiced safe driving themselves are less likely to engage in risky driving behaviors and less likely to be involved in a crash.
“It’s critically important that parents consistently reinforce driver safety with their teenagers,” said Austin Court Clerk Mary Jane Grubb. “New drivers are less experienced and more susceptible to dangerous situations, putting themselves and others at risk.”
NHTSA reports the following behaviors as being the most dangerous for teenage drivers:
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