April 25th, 2022
Getting a driver’s license is an exciting time for a teenager, and many parents look forward to the freedom and independence of having another driver in the house. But the freedom of the open road brings an increased risk of injuries due to motor vehicle accidents. And teen driving accident statistics are downright scary.
Car accidents are the second-leading cause of death for people aged 16 to 19. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), teens are almost three times as likely to be involved in a fatal crash than drivers aged 20 or older. On average, six teens die every day due to motor vehicle-related injuries. And summer is when many teens earn their driver’s licenses, making it a more dangerous season for teen drivers than any other time of year.
At Muth Law, P.C., we represent people who have been injured and the families of people who have been killed in motor vehicle collisions. We see firsthand the damage and devastation that can be caused by a car accident and consider it a public service to inform and educate drivers—and especially teenage drivers—about the potentially devastating consequences of a car crash.
Causes of Teen Auto Accidents
Research by the CDC has identified seven main causes of accidents involving teenage drivers.
Teen drivers are at increased risk of being involved in a car crash because they lack the experience to recognize and avoid potential hazards. Teen drivers generally identify road hazards later than more seasoned drivers and are more likely to underestimate the dangers of a potentially harmful situation and make an error that causes a crash. The risk of being involved in a crash is highest during the teen driver’s first few months after earning a driver’s license and decreases with more experience on the road.
Distracted driving occurs anytime a driver takes their attention away from the road. Distracted driving impairs driving performance for anyone but is particularly dangerous for young drivers. Even though it is illegal for teen drivers to use a cell phone while driving, surveys reveal that almost 40% of teen drivers admitted to texting or emailing while driving at least once during the last 30 days.
Nighttime and Weekend Driving
Driving at night is riskier than driving during the day. According to a National Household Travel Survey, teen drivers were three times as likely to be involved in a fatal crash than drivers aged 30 to 59. In 2019, 40% of vehicle crash deaths among teens occurred between 9 pm and 6 am, and 52% occurred n Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
Not Wearing a Seatbelt
Teens have some of the lowest rates of seatbelt use when compared to other age groups. Approximately 40% of teen drivers admitted to not always wearing a seat belt when riding with another person.
Driving with Friends
Research has identified a link between the number of passengers in a car and an increased risk of being involved in a crash. Michigan law limits the number of passengers a teen driver can have in their vehicle.
Teens are more likely to engage in behaviors that make it more difficult to stop suddenly. These include speeding and following too closely behind another vehicle.
Drug and Alcohol Use
Drinking alcohol or consuming drugs before driving increases the risk of being involved in a car crash. Even with the same Blood Alcohol Concentration and at levels below the legal limit for adults, teen drivers are at a higher risk than adult drivers of being involved in a crash.
Preventing Accidents Caused by Teenage Drivers
With the statistics surrounding teen driving accidents being so bleak, it is important that parents take an active role in helping young drivers and teaching them to drive safely. This starts with knowing and understanding the Michigan Graduated Driver’s License program, enforcing the rules, and modeling good behavior.
Most parents know the dangers of driving and that teens will model their behavior. Set a good example by abiding by the rules of the road, wearing a seatbelt and requiring that your passengers do the same, and avoiding distracted driving.
What To Do After a Driving Accident
If you or someone you love was injured in a driving accident, the personal injury attorneys at Muth Law can help. We have been representing Michigan drivers who were injured in car accidents for more than 30 years. We understand Michigan personal injury law inside and out and fight for the compensation they deserve.
Muth Law proudly represents people in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, and Washtenaw County, and throughout Michigan. We handle car accident injury cases on a contingency fee, which means you will not pay us a fee unless we recover money for you.
Categories: Auto Accidents