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AAA: More Young Drivers are On the Roads, Safety Should be a Priority

New AAA Foundation study shows more teens are obtaining their license before the age of 18
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study found young drivers are more likely to be involved in serious crashes. Education and safety training is critical.

LAS VEGAS (Oct 23, 2019) – New research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found a rise in younger drivers as more than 60% of teens got their driver’s license before the age of 18. That’s an 11% increase since 2012.

The new report reveals an increase in when teens obtain their driver’s license compared to when the Foundation first evaluated the issue in 2012. At that time, the country was just emerging from a recession and many young people cited their family’s inability to afford the high cost of driving as a reason why they did not obtain their license sooner.

“Younger drivers are gaining road experience under Nevada’s teen driver regulations which restrict when and who a teen driver can ride with.” said Sergio Avila, spokesperson for AAA. “AAA also providesresources for parents and young drivers to ensure they’re following safe practices on the roads.”

The new AAA Foundation study surveyed young adults ages 18-24 to determine when they obtained their license and found that nationally, 40.8% got their license at or before age 16 and 60.3% got their license before the age of 18.

Past AAA Foundation research found that for every mile driven, new teen drivers ages 16-17 years old are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash. Those who obtain their license at age 18 are more likely to be involved in a crash resulting in injuries during their first year of solo driving.

By setting parameters, new drivers can greatly minimize their risk of a crash. AAA recommends that regardless of their age when first learning to drive, new drivers should remember to “R.E.A.D the road”:

o R = Right speed, for right now: Always mind the speed limit and reduce your speed when traveling in adverse weather conditions.
o E = Eyes up, brain on: Always scan the road to anticipate dangers ahead. Eliminate distractions and keep your mind focused on the task of driving.
o A = Anticipate their next move: Be aware of other drivers on the road. Anticipate their next move and always have a plan to respond.
o D = Huge DONUT of space around your vehicle: Keep large amounts of space to the front and sides of your vehicle.

TeenDriving.AAA.com has a variety of tools to help prepare parents and teach new drivers the rules of the road. The online AAA StartSmart program also offers great resources for parents on how to become effective in-car coaches as well as advice on how to manage their teen’s overall driving privileges. Novice drivers preparing for the responsibility of driving alone should enroll in a driver education program that teaches how to avoid driver distraction and other safety skills.

About AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a not-for-profit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research is used to develop educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Visit www.AAAFoundation.org.

About AAA Nevada
AAA has a proud history of serving Members for over 100 years. AAA is on a mission to create Members for life by unleashing the innovative spirit of 4,000 employees representing 6 million Members across Northern California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. In addition to legendary roadside assistance, AAA offers home, auto and life insurance, and extraordinary travel services. According to Via Magazine’s Smart Guide, being a AAA Member can save you more than $1,200 a year. Learn more at AAA.com.

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