According to a recently published study in the Journal of Adolescent Health, at least one in three teenagers admit to texting while driving. More than 101,000 teenagers 14-years-old and above were asked a variety of questions about unsafe driving behaviors – and the findings are both eye opening and scary.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among American teenagers. Every day, six teens between16 and 19-years-old die in these accidents – and hundreds more get hurt. In 2016, more than 292,000 adolescents were inured and 2,433 others died in motor vehicle-related incidents.
Dangerous driving behaviors – such as distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, getting behind the wheel without a permit or a driver’s license, not wearing a seatbelt – and other unsafe acts are all major contributors behind dangerous and deadly car crashes. Luckily, all of these behaviors are also avoidable, so long as parents and caregivers of teens talk about safe driving practices and the serious responsibilities that accompany getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.
The chances of a teen texting while driving steadily increase from the age of 15 and on. For example, more than two-times as many 17-year-olds text behind the wheel as 15-year-olds. The researchers also found that:
The CDC reports that teens are more likely to lack using caution and that they are prone to not recognizing road-related hazards. Other risk factors known to contribute to injury causing and fatal automobile accidents that involve teen drivers are:
Some of the other well known causes behind car crashes involving teen drivers include driving with teenager passengers in the vehicle, drowsy driving, and being a generally inexperienced – or new – driver.
One way to decrease the amount of teens that get injured or killed in automobile accidents is to implement effective laws that prohibit dangerous driving behaviors, such as anti-cell phone laws. Increasing other enforcement efforts – like police checkpoints and ticketing – is another proven way to reduce rates of preventable accidents. For the most part however, becoming a responsible driver starts at home. Leading by example is crucial – and that includes everything from wearing a seatbelt, not drinking and driving, to never using a phone behind the wheel.
When parents and caregivers model good driving behaviors it positively affects a teen driver’s chances for identifying hazards and using safe, responsible driving practices. If you have questions about a motor vehicle accident involving a teen driver or passenger, please contact our firm directly.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident, please contact our Allentown car accident lawyers at Galfand Berger. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Reading and Lancaster, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.