Car Accident Lawyer Asks Parents To Take Immediate Steps To Decrease Teen Driver Accidents
Teen Driver Accidents Statistics
- The number of teen motor vehicle fatalities in California for 16 to 19 year olds increased almost two percent between 2013 and 2014
- The number of teen driver fatalities in California for 16 to 19 year olds increased 26.4 percent between 2013 and 2014
- 2,163 teens between the ages of 16 and 19 years of age were killed in car crashes nationwide during 2013
- 243,243 teens between the ages of 16 and 19 years of age were injured in car crashes nationwide during 2013
Examples of Bad Decisions Made By Teen Drivers
The teen driver in Georgia accused of causing a horrific car crash while using Snapchat has been charged with several crimes by Georgia law enforcement officials. According to reports, the teen driver was traveling as speeds of more than 100 miles per hour while using Snapchat’s speed filter when she collided with another vehicle, a claim that the teen driver has denied.
The car crash resulted in the other driver, Wentworth Maynard, suffering severe brain injuries. Maynard and his family have filed a civil lawsuit against the Georgia teen driver and Snapchat for damages resulting from the car crash. Because Snapchat has alleged it has evidence based on activity logs that show the teen was not using the app at the time of the crash, the civil lawsuit has been temporarily stayed pursuant to requests by both parties.
This hold on the civil lawsuit has not stopped the Lovejoy, Georgia police department from filing criminal charges against the teen. She is currently charged with one felony (causing serious injury by vehicle) and three misdemeanors (driving too fast for conditions, reckless driving, speeding in excess of 35 mph above the posted speed limit). A spokesman for the police department said the charges were filed because the department had concluded its investigation into the car crash.
The teen driver in the above car crash allegedly made three bad driving decisions that a car accident lawyer sees on a regular basis as causes for teen driving accidents: speeding, reckless driving, and driving too fast for conditions.
In addition to the above bad driving decisions made by teen drivers that I see as a car accident attorney include:
- Texting while driving and/or using other handled electronic devices
- Drowsy or fatigued driving
- Drunk and/or drugged driving (including buzzed driving)
- Grooming, eating, adjusting the radio, interacting with passengers, and other forms of distracted driving
Because teens tend to be on the roads more when school is out, AAA has designated this period as the “100 deadliest days of summer.”
CNN Warns Parents to Beware of the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer
Memorial Day through Labor Day is considered the 100 deadliest days of summer for teen drivers. According to researchers, the risk of a car crash increases by 44% for teen drivers during these 100 days. Some of the reasons why these months appear to be more dangerous for teen drivers include:
- Teens are on the road more during the summer months when school is not in session
- Teens drive on unfamiliar roads during the summer rather than using the same routes during the school year
- Teens have more passengers in the car during the summer months creating distractions and the urge to “show off” for friends
- Teens drive at night more during the summer months as curfews are less strict without school
- Teens may consume more alcohol at parties during the summer with more free time on their hands during the school year
What Can Parents Do To Reduce The Risk Of A Teen Driver Accident?
By far, the factor that seems to create the most risk for teen drivers is having passengers in the vehicle. Numerous studies have shown that having passengers in the vehicle can almost double (some studies say more than double) the risk of a car crash. Parents should limit the number of passengers their teen driver may have in the vehicle at a time. This should be a firm rule that has serious consequences in the home if the rule is broken.
Other steps parents can take to help their teen driver make better driving decisions this summer and throughout the year include:
- Ride with your teen driver often
- Set good examples when you are driving
- Require your teen to complete one or more online safe driving courses
- Enroll your teen in a driving course before school is out for the summer
- Set strict limits and rules for teen drivers and punishments for violation of those rules
For more information about how to keep your teen driver safe this summer, visit the National Safety Council’s Teen Driving website.