Road accident lawyers are constantly reminded of traffic fatality statistics. The Governors Highway Safety Association just released data that shows a 10% increase in teen-involved crash deaths from 2014 to 2015. This is especially sad and alarming, considering that teen driving traffic deaths declined between 2006 and 2014. Statistics about teen drivers from a report funded by a grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund include:
- Teens are 1.6 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than adults.
- Older teens (age 18 – 20) are more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than younger teens (age 15 – 17).
Teen Driver Safety Week is October 16 – 22, 2016
The American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety uses Teen Driver Safety week to call attention to teen driving issues. They cite three key mistakes that teens make while learning to drive and beginning their driving career:
- Not properly scanning the road for hazards or risks
- Engaging with distractions such as a cell phone, other objects or passengers
Clearly, driving mistakes can be deadly or cause injuries not just to people in the car with the teen, but also to pedestrians, cyclists, or people in other cars.
How you can help Teen Drivers
Parents and those with influence in the lives of teen drivers can encourage teenagers in safe driving. One online program, Ford’s Driving Skills for Life, has an ‘academy’ with car care videos, interactive games, and other information regarding personal safety and the environment. Teens can learn online about how to recognize hazards, manage speed and space between cars, and handle vehicles in general with information that’s not typically covered in driver’s ed courses. Over a million people have accessed the program since it began.
Proposed legislation in California would expand the current graduated driver licensing (GDL) to include older teens. Currently, 16 and 17 year-olds have driving restrictions regarding practice hours and passengers in the car. But if a person waits until age 18 to get a license, those restrictions don’t apply. Currently, approximately a third of teens wait until age 18 to get their driver’s license.
Let’s all make Bakersfield a place that drives down the statistics on fatalities involving teen drivers. You don’t have to be an auto accident lawyer to make a difference.