Nearly 18,000 teens, aged 16 to 19, died in car accidents from 2006 to 2010, and their fatal-crash rate is nearly three times greater than drivers 20 and older, according to a report from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Erie Insurance, based on crash data from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
"Inexperience combined with a never-ending list of distractions can add up to a deadly combination for teen drivers," said Karen Kraus Phillips, vice president at Erie Insurance. "Our goal is to reduce the high number of teen injuries and deaths that happen on the road every year. We think we've found an engaging way for teens to spread the word about protecting themselves on the road."
Wyoming, Montana, Mississippi, West Virginia, Arkansas and Alabama had the highest death rates when teens were driving. States with the lowest death rates were District of Columbia, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Jersey. For state-by-state data, click here.
To reduce the teen death rate, Erie Insurance has launched Shift, a teen-driver safety program designed to share driving tips, experiences and warn against bad driving behavior. The program includes $20,000 in cash prizes for teens and their schools for sharing the safe-driving message. The contest is open to teens in the 11 states and the District of Columbia, where Erie Insurance has operations.
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