U.S. teen drivers involved in 2,541 deaths

April 9, 2008 at 10:56 PM

WASHINGTON, April 9 (UPI) -- Teen drivers ages 15 to 17 were involved in about 974,000 vehicle crashes, injuring 406,427 people and killing 2,541 people, in 2006, a U.S. study said.

The analysis for the AAA, conducted by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, said crashes involving teen drivers ages 15 to 17 cost American society more than $34 billion annually in medical expenses, lost work, property damage, quality-of-life loss and other related costs in 2006.

The $34.4 billion cost includes $9.8 billion from fatal crashes, with an average cost of $3.841 million per fatality. Injury crashes averaged $50,512 for a total cost of $20.5 billion. Property damage crashes accounted for the remaining $4.1 billion in cost, the automobile association said.

"The impact of a teen crash extends beyond the emotional tragedies and physical injury at the crash scene, with costs that can extend to employers, families, the government and society overall," Robert L. Darbelnet, AAA president said in a statement.

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