Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But, a majority of these accidents (and deaths) are preventable. Also according to the CDC, male teens are at higher risk for injury and death – especially those between the ages of 16 to 19. Teens who are driving with other teen passengers are also have a higher risk for accident – only further proving that parents need to be more proactive in protecting their teens.
Facts Regarding Teen Auto Accidents
There are disturbing facts out there regarding the number of teen driving incidents and deaths. Teen drivers are almost 300 percent more likely than older drivers to be involved in a fatal accident. In 2013, almost 963,000 teen drivers were involved in accidents, which led to 383,000 injuries and 2,865 deaths. That equates to about 1,049 teen injuries and seven teen deaths per day.
What Led to These Accidents?
There are a few factors commonly seen in teen driving accidents and fatalities. These include:
- Speeding – Teen drivers are more likely to speed than older drivers. Male teen drivers are also more likely to speed than their female counterparts, with 38 percent of males involved in speed-related crashes, while only 24 percent of females were involved in similar crashes. Speeding was a factor in 52 percent of fatal car accidents for teens in 2011. This can be avoided by teens giving themselves distance between vehicles, always obeying posted speed limits, and giving themselves the three second rule between cars.
- Drinking and Driving – Unfortunately, teen drivers have a higher risk of drinking and driving – even when they are below the legal drinking age. Teens should not drink until they are 21, but also should avoid driving, if they do drink. Because they are more likely to be in an accident with alcohol in their blood, teens should have designated drivers.
- Nighttime Driving – Teen drivers are not as experienced as adults; therefore, they may not be as quick to respond in nighttime driving situations. More accidents among teens happen after the sun goes down than at any other time of the day. If you have teen drivers, restrict their driving hours, especially during the first year when they have their licenses.
- Not Wearing Seat Belts – Some teens may think that they are too cumbersome, while others feel they don’t need them; regardless of the reason, seat belts are a common factor in teen driving deaths. Make sure that your teen knows the importance of buckling up, and ensure that the passengers are not allowed in the vehicle unless they wear a seatbelt, too.
- Distracted Driving – Unfortunately, distracted driving is highest among teen drivers – more specifically, using cellphones to text, talk, or snap photos. Teach your teen to put his or her phone down, and even consider installing apps that help reduce distractions while driving.
Horn Law, P.C. is Dedicated to Advocating for Injured Victims
If you or your teen driver was injured in an auto accident due to someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the team at Horn Law, P.C. today regarding your accident. Our attorneys are dedicated to Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and we work hard to teach local teens about the importance of good, safe driving skills. Call us now to explore your legal options at 816-795-7500 or fill out our online contact form with your legal questions.