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Home > Maine Highway Crash Data > Crash Severity Facts & Statistics > Young Drivers - Maine Highway Crash Facts 1996
Young Drivers - Maine Highway Crash Facts 1996
Maine Crash Outcome Data Evaluation System (CODES)
During 1996 14,880 (1 in 7) Maine licensed drivers age 16-24 were involved in motor vehicle crashes on Maine roads.
Among these drivers 2,538 were injured, 1,025 transported by EMS, 115 hospitalized, and 49 were hospitalized or died with a head injury.
For young drivers, the rate of injury in motor vehicle crashes was more than 3 times the rate for older drivers.
One in seven Maine drivers age 16-24 was involved in a motor vehicle crash during 1996
Compared to older drivers, young drivers were more likely to be involved in crashes at night, on rural roads, using excessive speed, and driving with a suspended license. Crashes involving vehicles that ran off the road and/or occurred at a curve in the road were more common for younger drivers.
During a crash the likelihood of an injury was increased by 2.8 times if alcohol was involved and 1.6 times if illegal or unsafe speed was involved.
Young drivers involved in crashes had lower rates of belt use than older drivers. Fifty-two percent of young drivers who were hospitalized or died with a head injury were not using a seat belt.
Of the 14,880 young Maine drivers involved in crashes during 1996, 6,208 (42 percent) also had passengers riding with them. Four out of five of their passengers were other teens and young adults who also experienced significant injuries and medical costs.
The impact of passengers on the outcomes of young driver crashes added 50 percent to the number of injuries, EMS transports, and hospitalizations.
Table 1. Outcomes of 1996 crashes involving Maine drivers age 16-24.
*Represents linked records only and may underestimate actual counts.
Fifty-two percent of young Maine drivers who were hospitalized or died with a head injury during 1996 were not using a seat
Compared to older drivers, young drivers had higher rates of crash occurrence, hospitalization and cost. If young drivers had the same driving experience as older drivers, the potential reduction in medical cost (based on inpatient charges) would have been $1.8 million, or a 70 percent reduction.
Young drivers accounted for 12 percent of the drivers but 28 percent of the medical cost.
Seventy percent of the inpatient medical cost for young drivers was paid for by commercial insurers and HMOs. This potentially represents a significant cost to Maine employers who cover young drivers either as employees or dependents under their health plans.
Young driver crashes represent a significant cost to employers who most often pay for care through insurance
The average young driver hospitalized during 1996 spent 5 days in the hospital at an average charge of $14,900. These figures do not include the additional costs of physicians bills and follow-up care.
Passengers occupying vehicles driven by young drivers accounted for 35 percent of the total hospital costs resulting from these crashes.
Male drivers had higher crash rates than female drivers, and young male drivers along with their passengers accounted for 70 percent of the hospital costs for crashes involving drivers age 16-24.
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For young Maine drivers, alcohol was a factor in 1 in every 3 crashes that resulted in death or hospitalization during 1996
During 1996, 1,132 young drivers were involved in alcohol-related crashes. Their rate of involvement in alcohol-related crashes was more than two and one-half times that of older drivers. While these crashes represented only 5 percent of the persons involved in crashes, they accounted for 33 percent of the hospitalizations and 38 percent of hospital costs.
For young drivers, alcohol was a factor in 1 in every 3 crashes that resulted in a death or hospitalization. Alcohol-related crashes accounted for $1.0 million of the $2.6 million in hospital inpatient charges incurred by young drivers and their passengers.
Drivers in alcohol-related crashes were also less likely to have used seat belts.
The Maine CODES Project Advisory Committee
Supported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
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