As teens move from childhood to adulthood, their lives are filled with growing pains, and learning to drive is one of the most exhilarating things a teen experiences, while also being one of the most dangerous activities they engage in on a day-to-day basis. To a teenager, the concept of life and death has not fully taken effect, and understanding how terrible a car accident can be is something that most teens only learn through experience. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were an estimated 12.1 million young drivers, which are defined as drivers ages 15 to 20, in the U.S. These drivers represent roughly 5.4% of the 221.7 million licensed drivers throughout the nation.
Indeed, young drivers represent only a fraction of all of the drivers in our country, but in the area of accidents and fatalities, these young drivers play a larger role. According to the NHTSA, there were roughly 1,908 young drivers killed in traffic accidents in 2016, and over 4,000 people were killed in accidents involving a young driver. Unfortunately, the factors that cause teenage drivers to have an accident are often elements of the learning process such as distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, etc. As such, teen driving accidents are normally viewed from two perspectives, those of the teen’s parents and those of the driver of the other vehicles involved in the accident. Regardless of which lense you are viewing a teen driving accident through, the most common causes of fatal car accidents involving a teen driver are relevant.
Common Causes of Teen Driving Accidents in Atlanta
Some of the most heavily scrutinized data that is gathered by federal and state governments concerns fatal crashes, and those statistics can help the general public understand the underlying causes and contributing factors in fatal accidents for a specific class of the population. In the case of young drivers, the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety indicated that there were 180 fatalities among drivers under the age of 21 in our state in 2015. The NHTSA has taken its analysis a step further and studied some of the most prevalent factors in fatal accidents involving drivers ages 15 to 20 years old.
Teen Speeding Accidents in Atlanta, GA
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), almost one in every three traffic accident fatalities involve speeding, and undoubtedly, speeding is a problem for most drivers in the U.S. However, speeding was more prevalent among young drivers involved in a fatal accident than any other age group. According to the NHTSA, among the young drivers involved in a fatal crash in 2016, 32% of male drivers were speeding and 22% of the female drivers were speeding. These percentages for both male and female drivers were higher than any other age group that year.
So, from a practical perspective, if you are a parent, it is important for you to reinforce the rules of the road while teaching your child how to drive. Your advice could save your child’s life. If you are involved in an accident involving a teen driver, survey the accident scene for signs of speeding. Large skid marks, heavy damage to both vehicles, and a smoking engine are just a few of the signs that a young driver might have been speeding at the time of the accident.
Teen Drunk Driving Accidents in Atlanta, GA
Consuming any alcohol before getting behind the wheel of car can create a dangerous situation regardless of the driver’s age, but it can be particularly deadly among teens. According to the CDC, about one out of every three car accident fatalities involve drunk driving, and 24% of the fatal accidents involving young drivers in 2016 involved a young driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .01% or higher, according to the NHTSA. Moreover, of the 451 young drivers killed with alcohol in their system in 2016, 82% percent had a BAC of over .08%, which is above the legal limit for adults in most states. In Georgia, a teen can get a DUI for having a BAC of .02% or higher.
So, if you or your child are involved in a car accident involving a young driver, look for signs of intoxication. Does the teens breath smell like alcohol? Are they slurring their words? If a driver is intoxicated at the time of an accident, this fact is relevant from a legal perspective for other drivers and any passengers that might be in the young driver’s vehicle at the time of the accident.
Teen Distracted Accidents in Atlanta, GA
The advent of the cell phone changed the way we live in America. Suddenly, music, text messages, and phone calls were all at our fingertips, but as a society, Americans have come to the conclusion that using a cell phone while driving typically leads to car accidents. This fact is particularly relevant among teens. According to the NHTSA, there were 3,450 people killed in car accidents involving a distracted driver in 2016, and 8% of these fatalities were among drivers between the ages 15 and 19 years old.
As such, parents need to speak with their teens about using their cell phones while driving, and if you are involved in a car accident with a young driver, you should pay close attention as to whether or not the teen was on their cell phone at the time of the accident. Distracted driving is becoming an extremely common factor in car accidents around the country. This fact is demonstrated by the fact that talking on a cell phone or texting while driving is illegal in many state, and in the state of Georgia, it is illegal to even hold a cell phone in your hand while driving.
Teen Driving Accident Lawyers in Atlanta, GA
Whether you are a driver involved in an accident with a young driver or the parent of a young driver involved in an accident, the teen car accident attorneys at Cambre and Associates are ready to help you. Our car accident lawyers have years of experience helping accident victims seek the compensation they deserve for their injuries. So give our office a call today for a free consultation to find out how a dedicated car accident lawyer can help you.