You probably felt mixed emotions on the day your teen started driving. Not having to chauffeur your teen around town is certainly a welcomed change, but the thought of your child being severely injured in an accident is unbearable.
That worry is certainly justified since motor-vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States. At least 2,333 teens died in traffic accidents in 2015, and more than 220,000 were injured in 2014. That means about six teens between the ages 16 and 19 die every day in motor-vehicle collisions.
As a parent, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of your teen being injured in an accident. These include:
- Leading by example;
- Setting restrictions on when, where, and with whom your teen can drive;
- Restricting the number of passengers your teen can carry;
- Downloading an app on your teen’s phone that prevents distracted driving; and
- Teaching your teen about the most common causes of accidents.
In this article, we’ll examine four of the most common reasons why teenagers are involved in collisions. Although it is true that their inexperience is often a contributing factor, a significant portion of teen accidents are caused by other drivers. Young drivers are just as vulnerable as anyone else on the road when they encounter drunk or negligent motorists.
If you or your child is injured in a collision that another person caused, contact Laborde Earles Law Firm. Call 800-522-6733 to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Alexandria.
Most Common Causes of Teenage Car Accidents
According to TeenDriverSource.org, teenagers between the ages 16 and 19 are about three times more likely than drivers over age 20 to be involved in a fatal crash. The vast majority of these accidents are caused by the following driver errors:
- Distracted Driving
TeenDriverSource.com reports that distractions contribute to 58 percent of collisions involving drivers aged 16 to 19. Anything that deters your visual, manual, or cognitive attention away from driving is a dangerous distraction.
In a previous blog, we discussed five smartphone apps that will improve your teen’s safety on the road. Most of those apps were designed to prevent distracted driving.
In 2014, nearly 36 percent of drivers between the ages 15 and 20 who were involved in deadly accidents were speeding at the time of the collision. Driving too fast for the conditions is dangerous for drivers of all ages, and it is important that your teen understands when and how to adjust to changing weather and traffic patterns.
- Drunk Driving
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 percent of drivers between the ages 16 and 20 who are involved in fatal accidents are drunk at the time of the crash. Make sure your teen understands the dangers of drunk driving and knows how frequently alcohol contributes to fatal collisions (about 1 in 3 traffic deaths is caused by a drunk driver).
If the worst happens and you or your teen is injured by a negligent motorist, contact Laborde Earles Law Firm. Call 800-522-6733 to arrange a free consultation with a car wreck attorney in Alexandria.