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Why Do Teenage Drivers Get Into Auto Collisions?

Why Do Teenage Drivers Get Into Auto Collisions?

auto collisions

Why do teenage drivers get into auto collisions? What can parents do to keep their children safe on the road? Teen drivers are at significant risk of having an automobile accident caused by distracted driving, speeding, alcohol consumption, and sheer inexperience behind the wheel. In 2016, 2,433 teenage drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 died in motor vehicle accidents. A further 292,742 were treated for personal injuries in hospital emergency rooms. Parents can help protect their teenage drivers by confirming that they know the rules of the road, and that they adhere to safe driving behaviors every time they get behind the wheel.

Dangerous Driving Behaviors

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that speed was a contributing factor in 31% of teenage driving fatalities in 2016. A total of 10% of fatal accidents involving teenage drivers were caused by distracted driving. 51% of the time, when the teenage driver was distracted, they became the fatality in the accident. The NHTSA estimates that dialing a phone number while driving increases the risk of a distracted driving accident six fold. That rises to 23 fold when the teenage driver is texting while driving.

Alcohol is another common factor when auto collisions involve a teenage driver. In 2016, 451 teenage driving fatalities had alcohol in their system. Of these, 368 had BAC's of .08 or greater. Failure to wear seatbelts is another common reason for teenage driving fatalities. Of the teenage drivers who died in 2016, 47% were not wearing seatbelts when they had an accident.

Accident Risk Factors

Teen drivers lack experience and can underestimate road conditions, misjudge turning distances, and misinterpret the intent of other drivers. Teens are more likely to speed and leave insufficient distance between their vehicle and vehicles in front of them.

Teen drivers are also more likely to drive while distracted and drive while intoxicated. In 2016, 15% of teenage driver fatalities between the ages of 16 and 20 were intoxicated at the time of their accident. Equally as alarming is data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey that showed 16.5% of teenagers had accepted a ride from an intoxicated driver.

Protecting Teenage Drivers

Parents should practice driving with their teenage driver as often as possible. They should also model good driving behaviors including following posted speed limits, wearing seat belts, avoiding distractions, etc. Teen drivers who understand they are expected to follow these behaviors are less likely to break these rules of the road.

Parents should also thoroughly cover the driving laws in Kansas and have their child successfully complete a certified driver's education course. Most importantly, parents should never hesitate to take the keys away from a child who is not practicing good driving habits. It may seem harsh, but it just might save their life.

Call Us Today for a Free Consultation

Brad Pistotnik Law is a Wichita law firm with car accident injury attorneys who represent clients in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and Illinois following auto collisions. Our car accident attorneys can provide the legal help you need to pursue claims for injuries sustained in auto collisions in Beloit, Benedict, Carbondale, Dodge City, Garden City, Salina, Colby, Emporia, Newton, McPherson, Arkansas City, Hugoton, Goodland, Topeka, or Colby.

We always give free consultations and we answer the phone 24/7 and on weekends and holidays for free legal consultation. Call us at 1-800-241-BRAD or on our local line at 316-684-4400. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can call Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237. In Western Kansas you can call 620-THE-BULL.