How to Put Your Child on the Right Road Toward Teen Driving Safety
Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for teenagers ages 15 to 18, as stated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT). In a recent year, nearly 2,400 teens in the U.S. ages 13 to 19 were killed in traffic accidents, and approximately 258,000 were treated in emergency rooms for crash injuries, as stated by CDC. The risk of motor vehicle collisions is higher among teens ages 16 to 19 than among any other age group.
What Are the Biggest Dangers Teen Drivers Face Today?
The risk of an accident and injuries is greater when teen drivers get behind the wheel. According to the U.S. DOT, the greatest dangers for teen drivers are:
- Alcohol consumption: Alcohol reduces brain function. It impairs reasoning, thinking, and muscle coordination, all of which are essential to safely operating a vehicle. The negative effects of alcohol on driving increase as alcohol levels rise in the body.
- Inconsistent or no seatbelt use: Buckling your seatbelt is the single most effective action you can take to protect yourself in a crash. Of the U.S. people killed in traffic crashes during the nighttime hours in a recent year, 55% were not wearing a seat belt, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
- Distracted driving: On any given day in the U.S., more than 700 people are hurt in distracted driving crashes, as stated by the National Safety Council (NSC). Teens tend to be distracted more easily than adults, particularly with their friends in the car, according to NHTSA. In a new study, researchers found that the prevalence of texting while driving doubles between the ages of 15 and 16 and continues to increase substantially for ages 17 and up, as reported on MarketWatch.
- Drowsy driving: Teens and young adults are more likely to drive drowsy, because they are chronically sleep deprived. Studies have shown that driving when you have been awake for 24 hours is comparable to driving with blood alcohol content of 0.10, which is above the legal limit, as stated by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). Drivers under the age of 25 are involved in at least half of all drowsy driving crashes.
- Speeding: In a recent year, speeding was a factor in 27% of fatal crashes involving teen drivers 15 to 18 years of age, according to NHTSA. From 2000 to 2011, teens were involved in 19,447 crashes that involved speeding. The faster a teen is driving, the more time and distance is required to stop to avoid a crash.
- Passengers in the vehicle: The NHTSA reports that teens have been found to be 2 ½ times more likely to engage in potentially risky driving behavior when there is one other teenager in the car. When traveling with multiple passengers, the likelihood of teens engaging in risky behavior was found to increase by three times over driving alone. The risk of a fatal crash increases in direct relation to the number of teenagers in the vehicle.
Why Is it Important to Make Teen Drivers Aware of the Dangers?
Teens involved in car accidents can sustain serious injuries, including fractured bones, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, internal bleeding, dental injuries, facial lacerations, and disfigurement. It is important to make teens aware of the dangers to help reduce the risk. Parents can help teens become safer drivers by setting a good example, getting involved in their driving habits, and staying involved.
If you or your child has been involved in a crash with a teen driver, contact Breyer Law Offices, P.C. at (602) 267-1280. Our Phoenix personal injury lawyers have a history of success recovering compensation for our clients.
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