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Monday, December 29, 2014

Recent Study Shows Nearly One Third of Teens Killed in Auto Accidents Were Driving Small Cars

One third of teens killed in auto accidents were driving small cars
A recent study done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) revealed that teenagers are more likely than middle aged drivers to die in automobile accidents while driving smaller cars. Covering a five-year span, the study showed that nearly one third of the teens killed were driving small or mini cars.

Smaller cars offer less protection

Smaller cars are extremely popular now due to excellent gas mileage and price. However, smaller means less protection, too. The study showed that 29 percent of teens involved in fatal auto accidents were driving small or mini cars, and 23 percent of teen fatalities were driving a mid-size car.

Older cars also less safe for teens

The study also revealed that older cars were also not a good choice for teens. Shockingly, 82 percent were killed in crashes while driving cars over six years old and 48 percent were driving cars over 11 years old. What's the connection? Newer cars have more safety features. Keli Braitman, an assistant professor of psychology at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, who studies teenage drivers, explained it, “Newer vehicles tend to fare better in crashes than older vehicles, and are more likely to have safety features.” Among the important safety features is electronic stability control (ESC) which will automatically apply breaks when the car skids.

Teens lack experience

The fatality rate for teens is higher than that for middle-age drivers because they do not have the experience, including being able to react to traffic emergency situations. Couple this with a small car that offers little in the way of protection, or an older car that has very little safety features, and it creates a dangerous situation on the road for teens. So, what should teens be driving? Bigger, heavier vehicles and vehicles with safety features like driver and side air bags.

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