Understanding the facts and risks of teenage driving is important when your child and his or her friends become old enough to get a driver’s license. Educating your teen regarding some of the dangerous statistics and facts regarding teen driving and instilling safe driving habits and knowledge upon them could mean the difference between life and death. While teenagers represent only 7% of all licensed drivers, they are involved in almost 20% of all fatal car accidents. According to AAA, every day, car crashes end more teen lives than cancer, homicide, and suicide combined. Of the 5,000 teens that die each year in car accidents, about half of those occur on the weekends and about one-third of them occur between the hours of 6 pm and midnight. Teens are twice as likely to crash at night and adding teenage passengers to the vehicle greatly increases the crash risk for new drivers. When a teen is driving, adding one teenage passenger doubles the risk of an accident and a teenager is five times as likely to get in an accident when there are two or more teen passengers in the vehicle.
Most of these accidents are caused by the lack of experience a teenager has behind the wheel. Teens lack visual space habits of knowing where and what to look for on the roads in terms of what other cars, motorcycles, trucks, bicyclists, and pedestrians are doing. Teens also lack speed management and don’t always know the appropriate speed to drive in changing traffic conditions. Teens also struggle with space management and knowing how much time and space is needed to maneuver a vehicle safely. Finally, distractions such as adjusting the radio, texting, talking on the phone, and eating, take teens’ attention away from the road. It is critical that your teen is educated regarding the risks of driving at night, wearing seatbelts, and setting limits when driving or riding with other teen passengers. There are many websites such as the AAA website that offer tips and education for teen drivers and we encourage you to review them with your teen. Part of our work at Robert Sparks Attorneys is to try and make the roads safer for everyone, but accidents do happen. If you’ve been injured in an accident, we invite you to call Robert Sparks Attorneys for a free case evaluation.