According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents are the leading cause of death in teenagers. In 2013, 2,163 teens in the United States aged 16-19 lost their lives in fatal motor vehicle collisions, with 243,243 teens receiving emergency treatment from injuries sustained in car accidents. While people aged 15-24 account for only 14% of the population in the United States, this age group accounts for 30% of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries in males and 28% of costs of motor vehicle injuries in females.
The CDC’s report identifies several different causes of these fatal collisions. The main contributing factors to teenage car are as follows:
- Underestimating dangerous situations: Teens have a lower level of situational awareness than more experienced drivers and have a tendency to fail to recognize hazards on the roads.
- Speeding: Teens have a higher likelihood to exceed the speed limit, especially when other teenage passengers are present. Approximately 35% of drivers age 15-20 involved in fatal crashes in 2012 were speeding at the time of their collision.
- Tailgating: Allowing shorter headways between vehicles is a major cause of rear-end collisions in teenagers. Again, the presence of other teenage passengers increases this risky behavior.
- Seat belts: Amongst all other groups, teenage drivers have the lowest reported percentage of seatbelt use. In 2013, only 55% of high school students claimed to always wear a seatbelt when driving or riding in a motor vehicle.
- Intoxication: Approximately 17% of all teenage drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. The risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash is greater for teens than older drivers at all BAC levels.
These harrowing statistics provide an eye-opening look into the dangers of driving and remind us of the importance of instilling safe habits in our country’s youth. To prevent collisions of this nature in the future, it is imperative that parents emphasize seatbelt use, educate teens on the risks of drunk driving, and teach teens proper defensive driving habits.
Injured in a Car Accident? Contact Roane Law Today
If you or your teenage child has been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to pursue compensation by filing a personal injury claim with the help of a skilled Greensboro car accident lawyer from Roane Law. Having recovered millions of dollars on behalf of countless injured clients, our firm can provide the results-driven advocacy you need to maximize your chances of securing a fair settlement for your suffering. To get started, contact our office online or call (336) 790-5194 today!