According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death for teenaged Americans. More than 3,200 teen drivers were involved in a fatal car accident in 2017 alone, with thousands more suffering catastrophic and life-altering injuries from collisions.
While it’s easy to blame these numbers on the distracted driving epidemic, the causes for a teen car accident can be quite varied. Although 1 out of 3 teens have admitted to texting while driving, there are many other distractions, risky behaviors, and incorrect driving practices that can cause a teenager to spin out of control on the road.
At Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, we hope that your teenagers are able to stay safe on the road by exercising caution and care. If your family suffers from a devastating teen driving accident, you can rest assured that our team will help you pursue justice from the at-fault party, and explore all the legal avenues for compensation. In the meantime, we’ve gathered a list of the top causes for teen crashes – and provided some safety tips to avoid them.
Here are 7 of the top causes for teen driving accidents:
- Driving under the influence. Teens face much higher risks of a motor vehicle crash, regardless of their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Even so, the CDC estimates that over 16.5% of high schoolers have been in a car with a drunk teenage driver, and nearly 6% admit to drinking and driving. By discussing the dangers of drunk driving with your kids early on, you may be able to prevent them from engaging in this behavior.
- Texting and driving. Next to drinking and driving, texting is one of the top causes for teenage car accidents. According to the Journal of Adolescent Health, texting while driving is most common for teenagers in rural states, but 38% of all teenage drivers admit to texting behind the wheel in the last month. To combat this problem, institute a strict “no phone use in the car” policy, and be sure to observe it in your own car too.
- Forgetting to buckle up. Seat belts save lives, but the NHTSA has found that teens use seat belts less frequently than any other age group. Make sure your entire family gets into the habit of buckling up, and remind your teens that the majority of fatal crashes involve drivers who were not wearing seat belts.
- Riding with other teens in the car. Although drinking and texting are extremely dangerous for teen drivers, riding with other teenagers can be even more risky. A 70-page study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that passenger distractions are more common than texting.
- Lack of experience. Teenage drivers are still developing their skills, and do not have the accumulated reflexes and muscle memories of adult drivers. Be consistent about enforcing appropriate permit hours, and take the time to ride with your child while they learn in driver’s education.
- Speeding. Speeding and other forms of reckless driving cause accidents for all age groups, and this is also the case for teenagers. When compounded with lack of experience, speeding can lead to some of the worst injuries and crashes.
- Drowsy driving. Finally, it’s important to make sure that your teenager is getting enough sleep before they hit the road. Between extracurricular activities, schoolwork, friends, and classes, sleep-deprived high school students may be too exhausted to safely hit the road.
Your Advocate After a Car Accident
As personal injury lawyers serving clients throughout Texas and Louisiana, we’ve taken many cases where teenagers suffered serious injuries in car crashes. Bringing decades of dedicated legal experience to the table, we have the skill to hold other drivers accountable when their negligent behavior harms your child. Even if your teen was partially responsible for the accident, you may be entitled to some portion of damages, both to cover the costs of your property damage and your medical bills.
We can seek maximum compensation after your teen’s accident. Call
(888) 492-5532today to speak with our qualified attorneys during a free consultation.