One in eight fatal car crashes between 2010 and 2019 involved drivers aged 15 to 20. That’s according to a new LendingTree study. In Utah, the study reported that teenage drivers were driving in 16% of the state’s fatalities, the second highest in the country. Teenagers died in 11% of fatal crashes, the third highest in the country.
Andrew Hurst, author of the study, said Utah being more rural than other states could be a factor.
“If it feels like there are fewer people on the road, you can increase the speed, you could drive a little more distractedly,” said Hurst.
But it’s not all bad news.
“I would say the good news, however, for Utah is that, like the rest of the country, the number of fatalities actually decreased in 2019 compared to 2010,” said Hurst. “It’s down 9%.
Despite the drop, Hurst said his high crash weekends, like what Utah just experienced on Halloween, shows there is still room for improvement.
“It kind of gives a boost or motivation to move forward,” said Hurst. “To kind of refine what you’ve been doing and find a new thing, a new way to go.”
Hurst said that although teens can be behind the wheel of many crashes, Utah has a lower total number of fatal crashes than other states. This statistic is promising.
“I think I’m generally optimistic,” Hurst said. “Considering that you know, these accident numbers have continued to decrease and they are not so much to begin with, that we are heading in the right direction. “