Ninety per cent of AA members underestimate the risk teenagers in cars face compared to higher-profile threats, such as drugs, drinking, gun and knife crime, prompting fears that tell-tale signs of an impending road tragedy could be ignored.

This is despite the fact that 80% of accidental teenage deaths happen on the road, according to research.

Only one in ten of 18,500 respondents to the AA/Populus survey of AA members see driving as the biggest source of danger for teenagers.

However, while older respondents say drugs and drinking are the main threats, gun and knife crime is seen as the greatest menace by the younger generations themselves, Londoners and lower-income respondents.

Throughout this year, weekends on which there were multiple stabbings have been matched almost victim for victim by car crashes elsewhere that have killed teenagers.

The AA now fears that many of the tell-tale signs of an impending teenage road tragedy are being ignored because perilous driving is seen as less of a risk and doesn’t grab the attention as much as a stabbing.

The survey into the ‘greatest risk to the safety of teenagers’ emphasises the need for parents and friends to keep an eye out for potentially dangerous circumstances. Sadly the biggest killer of UK youngsters approaching adulthood is car crashes.

When will we ever learn?

Jackie Violet - Female First