Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
Turning 16 years old and being granted the privilege of obtaining a driver’s license is one of the most anticipated life events. While teenage driving certainly has its perks – no longer do mom and dad have to be in charge of getting kids to and from every activity, for example – it also comes with risks. For a look into some teenage car accidents statistics, read on.
Teenage Car Accidents: The Hard Numbers
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. In 2010, the CDC reported that seven teenagers between 16 and 19 years old died every single day from motor vehicle accidents.
Additionally, the agency reports that per mile driven, teens 16 through 19 were three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than drivers who were at least 20. What’s more, in addition to a high number of fatalities, 282,000 teens between 16 and 19 were treated in emergency room department for crash-related injuries in 2010.
Teenage Car Accidents: The Risk Factors
Amongst teenagers, males are much more likely to be involved in an accident than are their female counterparts, according to the CDC. In fact, the 2010 death rate for teenage males between 16 and 19 in motor vehicle accidents was nearly twice that of females of the same age.
Accidents are also much more likely when a teenager has other teenage passengers in the car, who may cause driver distraction. Additionally, those who first get their licenses are more likely to be in an accident than those who have had their licenses for a few months or couple of years.
Teenage Car Accidents: The CausesTeens may be more likely to underestimate dangerous situations and risk factors while driving compared to adult drivers, increasing their risk of accident. This might be related to inexperience behind the wheel, though some argue that a teen’s still-developing brain may be a factor.
Additionally, teenage drivers are more likely to speed compared to older drivers, notes the CDC. Speeding accounted for 37 percent of fatal accidents involving males ages 15 to 20 and 24 percent of fatal accidents involving females ages 15 to 20 in 2012, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
According to the NHTSA, in 2012, 28 percent of young people 15 to 20 killed in teenage car accidents had been drinking. Additionally, many teen drivers fail to use seatbelts while in a vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also reports that in general, teen drivers have a lower rate of seatbelt use than do adult drivers. This can put teens at risk of serious or fatal injuries in the event of an accident.
Teens may also be more tempted to talk on the phone or text while driving, which can be a distraction that leads to an accident. As noted previously, having teen passengers can also increase risk of distraction-related accidents.
What You Can Do To Reduce Teen Accidents
Both the NHTSA and CDC agree that a Graduated Licensing System (GDL) is one of the best ways to prevent the number of teen accidents. A GDL requires that a new teen driver first be supervised while driving. Next, the teen can drive without supervision, but restricted to certain times of day as well as to the number of young passengers in the vehicle. The final stage grants the teen full driving privileges.
Parents can do their part in these ways.
- Encouraging seatbelt use.
- Discouraging speeding and reckless behavior.
- Talking to teens about the dangers of drinking and driving.
Hurt in a Teen Car Accident in Ohio? A Lawyer at KNR Will Help.
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident caused by another person’s irresponsible actions, an attorney can help you to hold that person liable and recover damages for your injuries. Whether in Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Toledo or Columbus, Kisling, Nestico & Redick is ready to help you present your case and advocate for your rights. To schedule a FREE legal consultation with an Ohio car accident attorney, call1-800-HURT-NOW or complete our short and confidential contact form.