Summer is here and school is out. So are the teenage drivers. From Memorial Day until back to school, thus begins the 100 deadliest days for summer driving involving teen drivers, according to AAA.com. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers. Teenage drivers new to the road can be a risk every day of the year, but even more so once school is out. They are on the road more and are all too often the cause of car accidents. As auto accident injury lawyers at Tapalian Law, we know that car crashes are more frequent in general during the summer months than other times of year. Every summer day, an average of 10 people die in car crashes involving teen drivers. Nearly 2/3 of those injured in these crashes are victims other than the teen themselves. These are startling statistics and as injury lawyers, Tapalian Law urges those with teen drivers to share these facts and discuss with them the importance of using extreme caution when on the road.
Cell Phones & Passengers Main Cause of Teenage Car Accidents
Teenagers are easily distracted by the cell phones that are such an integral part of their everyday lives. Most teens spend a good deal of time each day texting or on social media. It is hard for them to imagine not having access to their phones. But it’s a well-known fact to us as Rhode Island personal injury attorneys that cell phones and driving do not mix together well. They create a recipe for distracted driving that can result in severe crashes and vehicle related fatalities. Findings by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute showed that texting creates a crash risk 23 times greater than driving while not distracted. Driver distractions, including cell phone use and texting, caused close to 60% of teen driving crashes according to dashboard camera surveys performed by Lytx DriveCam. These crashes resulted in moderate to severe accidents. About 15% of the teenagers were distracted by talking to passengers in the same vehicle, 12% were using a cell phone, and 11% were distracted by something else in the car, whether it be a radio, GPS system, eating, or drinking. The presence of other teenagers in the vehicle along with a teenage driver increases the risk of a crash resulting in personal injury. The risk increases exponentially along with the number of passengers in the car.
Teen Driving Facts, According to AAA.com
We all know that texting while driving and using a hand-held cell phone to talk while driving are both illegal in the state of Rhode Island. However, studies by AAA.com found the following:
- Almost 70% of teens admit to talking on a cell phone while driving in the past 30 days.
- Over 50% of teens admit to reading a text message or email while driving in the past 30 days.
- 94% of young drivers between the ages of 17-24 keep their phones on while driving.
- Young drivers send an average of 80 texts per day and talk on their cell phone for one hour.
- A 16-17 year old’s risk of being killed in a car accident quadruples when 3 or more teenage passengers are in the car with them.
- 80% feel they drive “safer than average” and don’t think their distracted driving puts them at risk.
Tips for Parents to Encourage Safe Teen Drivers
- Commit to being active in the learning to drive process and set a good example when you are driving behind the wheel. Teenage car crash risk decreases when an adult over the age of 35 is a passenger in the vehicle.
- Enroll your teen in a quality driver education program
- Enforce Rhode Island’s Graduated Driver Licensing at home
- Sign a parent-teen driving agreement including specific rules for cell phones and passengers allowed in the car.
- Enforce safety rules such as always wearing a seatbelt, not riding with another teen driver without your permission, and obeying traffic laws.
Contact a Rhode Island Personal Injury Lawyer if You Are Hurt in a Teen Driver Accident
Teen drivers are some of the most accident-prone drivers on the road, and Rhode Island teenagers are no different. Teenage drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are almost three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than drivers over the age of 20. If you have been hurt in a Rhode Island car accident or Massachusetts auto accident caused by a teen driver, contact Tapalian Law. Attorney David Tapalian has helped RI car accident victims and MA car accident victims seek compensation for their injuries. Whether you have been hit by a teen driver or received an injury of another sort that has compromised your ability to work, resulted in medical bills, doctors’ visits, pain and suffering, and otherwise function in the same capacity as prior to your accident, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. Seek a free legal consultation from Tapalian Law today to determine whether or not you are eligible to seek compensation for your damages. Tapalian Law has offices conveniently located in Providence, RI and Seekonk, MA. Call us today at 401-552-5000 or reach us online.