Teen Car Accidents

Although young adults (people between the ages of 15 and 24 years old) only make up 14 percent of the U.S. population, they account for about 30 percent of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries each year. For a variety of reasons, teen car accidents occur at a higher rate than for most other age groups. In addition to driver inexperience, teens are more likely to engage in distracted driving and other risky behaviors behind the wheel. If you or a loved one has been injured in a teen car accident, it’s a good idea to speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible about your case.

Teen Car Accident Facts

  • In 2011, 2,650 teens were killed in car crashes across the nation.
  • Approximately 292,000 teens were injured in wrecks in 2011.
  • In 2011, teen male drivers and passengers were almost two times as likely to die in a crash as teen female drivers and passengers.
  • Among teen male drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2012, 37 percent were speeding at the time of the crash.
  • Among teen male drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2012, 25 percent had been drinking.
  • Of the teens who died in passenger vehicle crashes in 2012, approximately 55 percent were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.

Leading Cause of Death for Teens

Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens across the U.S. Teen drivers aren’t the only ones at risk. Often times, these are multi-car crashes or teen drivers with multiple teen passengers. Teens driving with other teens in the car are at a particularly high risk of getting into a crash. Teen drivers face certain risk factors, like additional peer passengers, that put them at a higher risk for injury-causing and fatal crashes. For parents, it’s important to know the risk factors and talk to teen drivers about the dangers associated with those factors. If your teen has been injured in a crash with another teen driver, it’s time to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney.

Risk Factors For Teen Drivers

  • Additional peer passengers
  • Driver inexperience
  • Teen male drivers and passengers
  • Cell phones
  • Speeding
  • Drinking
  • Driving or riding without buckling up

Teens with Peer Passengers

Any parent of a teen driver knows that teens really want to drive their friends around. Especially in the first six months to a year of driving licensure, this is a bad idea. The presence of even one additional teen passenger makes a driver much more likely to engage in dangerous or risky behavior behind the wheel. With each additional peer passenger, the likelihood of getting into an injury-causing or fatal accident increases. This not only endangers a car full of young people, it also puts everybody on the road at great risk.

Teens and Distracted Driving

Texting while driving has become a deadly epidemic, and it’s no secret that teens are engaging in this distracted driving behavior. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 12 percent of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes were distracted at the time of the crash in 2011. Furthermore, a quarter of teens respond to text messages once or more ever time they drive, and 20 percent of teens and ten percent of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving.

5 to Drive For Teen Safety

Through extensive research, the NHTSA has discovered the five biggest risk factors facing teen drivers. They have developed five rules for new drivers in efforts to reduce injury-causing and fatal teen car accidents each year. Parents are encouraged to talk to their teen drivers about these rules. Listed below are the “5 to Drive” rules for teen drivers.

5 to Drive

  1. No cell phone use or texting while driving.
  2. No driving with extra teen passengers in the car.
  3. No exceeding the speed limit.
  4. No drinking and driving.
  5. No driving or riding without a seat belt.

After a Teen Car Accident

Driver inexperience is just one small factor associated with the dangers facing teens behind the wheel in Jackson, Mississippi and all over the U.S. From cell phones to teen passengers, a variety or risk factors can increase the likelihood of a teen car accident. If you have been injured or if your child has been injured in a car accident involving a teen driver in Jackson or the surrounding communities, contact the skilled legal team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for an immediate free consultation.

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