National Teen Driver Safety Week: Teen Driving Accidents
It’s National Teen Driver Safety Week, October 18-24, 2020. Sadly, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens (15-18 years old) in the United States. Teenage brains are still developing and as a result, teens tend to be impulsive and use poor judgment. Poor decisions often include drinking and driving or texting and driving; two of the riskiest behaviors when getting behind the wheel.
In 2017, 2,247 people were killed in car crashes involving a teen driver; 755 deaths were the teen driver. While young people aged 15-19 represented 6.5 percent of the U.S. population in 2017, injuries and fatalities from motor vehicle accidents involving teenage drivers represented about $13.1 billion – or almost eight percent – of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries.
Safety experts remind parents that in addition to demonstrating good driving habits themselves, it is vital to talk to teens because they can be the biggest influence over their children’s behavior. Studies have shown that one of the biggest factors for reducing car accidents among teen drivers is whether their parents talk to them about safe driving habits and the rules of the road. Parents should make sure to discuss the biggest risk factors for teen driving accidents to help keep their teens safe on the road.
National teen driver safety week: teen driving accidents risk factors
These are the biggest risk factors for teen driving accidents:
- Drinking and driving
- Texting and driving
- Other types of distracted driving
- Teen passengers
- Too many passengers
- Failure to wear seat belts
- Drowsy driving
Which teens are most at risk for car accidents?
The risk of car crashes is higher among teenagers aged 16-19 than among any other age group of drivers. When you break it down per mile driven, teen drivers in this age group are almost three times more likely than drivers 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.
Teens in these categories are at the highest risk for car accidents:
- Being male: male drivers between the ages of 16-19 are over twice as likely as female drivers in the same age range to die in a motor vehicle crash.
- Driving with teen passengers: the risk of a teen car crash increases with unsupervised teen drivers, and with every additional teen passenger in the car.
- Newly licensed teen drivers: New drivers in their first several months are at the highest risk of car crashes. Data from the 2017 National Household Travel Survey shows that the crash rate per mile driven is 1.5 times higher for 16-year-olds than it is for 18-19-year-olds, indicating that after teens get their license at the age of 16, they are at their highest risk for collisions.
Keeping teens safe behind the wheel
In order to reduce teen fatality and injury rates, all 50 states have some type of graduated licensing laws in place. Graduated Driver Licensing programs have been shown to reduce fatal teen crashes with the more comprehensive versions having the biggest impact.
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!