In the United States, teenagers drive less than other age groups but continue to dominate accident, injury, and fatality rates. Recently, the CDC published data that says auto accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers aged 15-19 in the U.S.
The CDC offers the following data from 2017:
· 2,074 teens 16-19 were killed.
· Around 300,000 were injured and required emergency medical care.
· This equates to six teens dying every day due to auto accidents.
· Teens 15-19 represent 6.5% of the population.
· Teens 15-19 represented 8% of total auto accident injuries.
· Fatal and nonfatal auto accidents involving teens cost $13.1 billion.
· Death rate among male teen drivers is twice the rate among females.
· Unsupervised drivers who have teenage passengers are more likely to have an accident.
· 40% of fatal auto accidents among teen drivers occurred between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
· 50% of fatal auto accidents involving teen drivers occurred on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
· There were 4,750 fatalities in auto accidents involving a teen driver, including passengers and occupants of other vehicles.
Why Teens are High-Risk Drivers
Teen drivers are considered one of the highest risk groups when it comes to auto accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teen drivers are more at risk of auto accidents because:
· They are inexperienced.
· They are unable to gauge hazardous situations.
· They are statistically more likely to speed.
· Teens are less likely to use seat belts properly (only 58% of high school teens report using a seat belt).
· Teens are more likely to drive after consuming alcohol.
· Teens are more likely to text or use their cell phones while driving.
Sadly, many auto accidents involving teenagers can be prevented.
Parents should talk to their teens about safe driving. Talk to your teens about traffic laws, avoiding bad situations, avoiding distractions, and not drinking and driving. Also, consider limiting the number of passengers allowed in the vehicle with your child. Most importantly, lead by example. Practice safe driving habits when your teen is in the car with you. If you need legal representation due to your teenage son or daughter being involved in a car accident, call Guldjian and Fasel for personal injury in Orange County and Los Angeles.