October 16th marked the beginning of National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW). The theme for this year is “talk to your kids about the 5 to Drive.” The 5 to drive campaign was started by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to highlight the top five safety issues leading to accidents amongst teen drivers. The campaign asks parents to talk to their teen drivers about (1) not using their cell phone while driving, (2) no extra passengers, (3) no drinking and driving, (4) no speeding, and (5) no driving or riding without a seat belt.
Trafficsafetymarketing.gov reports that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15 to 19-year olds in the United States. The year 2014 reported fatal crashes involving 2,679 teen drivers, and approximately 123,000 teens injured in motor vehicle crashes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded on these statistics by informing that six teens ages 16-19 died every day from motor vehicle accident injuries. In 2013, teens between the ages of 15-19 represented 7 percent of the United States population, however they accounted for 11 percent of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries.
Outside of distracted driving, there are several other factors that put teen drivers at risk. First, teens tend to underestimate dangerous situations, or recognize hazards while driving. Studies have shown that teens were more likely than adults to make critical errors in their decision making while driving, leading to serious crashes. Second, studies suggest that teens are more likely than adults to speed and not provide enough space between the car in front of them. Male teenage passengers are more likely to engage in this behavior. Furthermore, teen drivers have the lowest rates of seat belt use of any age group. In 2015, only 61 percent of high school students reported they always wear seat belts when riding with someone else.
The NHTSA provides additional tools such as post it notes that can be placed on a teen driver’s car to remind them of safety procedures they can engage in. The CDC, has created a “Parent-Teen Driving Agreement” to help parents make sure that their teen drivers are abiding to safety procedures that may prevent a future motor vehicle accident.
Parents are encouraged to provide their teen-drivers with information with the dangers of teen driving. Additional information for parents can be found on the CDC website. The CDC informs parents that the best way to help prevent motor vehicle accidents amongst teens is to be a good role model. Parents should exercise the same cautions that they are educating their teen drivers on.
The hope is that by encouraging parents to provide education to their teen-drivers it will decrease the amount of motor vehicle accidents involving young adults. Teens who drive distracted, recklessly, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol put themselves and other drivers at risk for serious injury.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motor vehicle accident as a result of a driver's negligent actions, contact an experienced New York personal injury attorney in handling these matters. Get the experienced New York personal injury attorneys of Georgaklis & Mallas, PLLC on your side to vigorously defend your legal rights and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact (718) 238-2400 to schedule a consultation with our car accident lawyers today.