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Accidents with teens are more often deadly

Illinois drivers may already be wary of cars full of teens on the road, and a study released for National Teen Driver Safety Week will do little to allay their concerns. While teen drivers may be widely considered to be reckless or careless, the concern about their driving isn't limited solely to age-related stereotypes. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, accidents involving cars with a teen driver and only teen passengers are more likely to be fatal for everyone involved.

The study indicates that the danger is especially pronounced for people in other cars involved in a crash with the teen driver. The fatality risk escalates by 56 percent for occupants of other vehicles in a motor vehicle accident with a teen driving other teens. For cyclists and pedestrians hit by teens driving teens, their risk of death is escalated by 17 percent. Even the teen drivers themselves are more likely to die; their fatality risk rises by 45 percent. On average, accidents involving teens driving teens are 51 percent more likely to cause death.

The trend changes when at least one passenger age 35 or older is in the car; at that point, the fatality rate declines by 8 percent. Other factors are also involved in higher rates of risk. These can include known hazards like nighttime driving or speeding. While some accidents involving all-teen vehicles may be linked to distraction, AAA points out that teen drivers are inexperienced in handling emergencies and could benefit from more supervision.

Regardless of age, a serious car accident can be life-altering. Crashes can lead to serious injuries, permanent disabilities and even death. People who have been hurt in a car crash through no fault of their own might work with a personal injury lawyer to pursue compensation for their damages, including medical bills and lost wages.

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