The statistics show that teen drivers are at high risk for being involved in auto accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control, car crashes are the number one cause of death for people ages 16 to 19. Over 200,000 teenagers are injured in the U.S., and 2,000 are killed in crashes every year. Additionally, teenagers are responsible for about 30 percent of the medical costs related to car crashes in the country.
Parents will be dismayed to learn that teens are three times more likely to be in a fatal crash that older, more experienced drivers. Inexperience is, in fact, the major factor for teen accidents. Young drivers don’t yet have the skills or experience to always detect major hazards or to react in time to avoid an accident. They may have difficulty navigating at night or in bad road or weather conditions. Young drivers may also choose to drive while intoxicated, or to get in a car with someone who has been drinking.
Texting caused death of Allen teen
Many teenagers can also be influenced by their friends to take risks, to drive without wearing their seatbelts or to drive while distracted, including texting and driving. This was the factor that resulted in the tragic death of a 17-year-old high school student from Allen, Texas, in November. According to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth, the girl had been texting her boyfriend and sister while driving her car, which veered off the road, hit a curb, and then ran into a rock wall. The girl was killed in the accident.
While it’s not possible to control every decision a teenager makes while driving, parents can set a good example while driving that can help kids make good driving decisions. State Farm offers the following tips for parents:
- Don’t text while driving or participate in other distractions, such as eating or playing with electronics.
- Wear seatbelts at all times and make sure passengers are buckled up.
- Don’t drive while angry or tired.
- Avoid speeding, tailgating and aggressive driving.
Kids will pay attention to their parents’ driving habits, which will be beneficial if they consistently follow traffic rules and are respectful, courteous and safe.
When to ask for help
An accident can occur at any time, resulting in injuries that many people are not financially prepared for. The medical bills from a car crash can be staggering. Those who have been injured in an accident caused by an inexperienced, negligent or intoxicated teenager should get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss their options.