Teenagers have high auto insurance rates for a reason. Inexperienced drivers paired with the host of distractions that come with young adulthood. 62% of all teens that died in a car accident in 2015 were the drivers, according to the insurance institute of Highway Safety. By the CDC’s accounts, roughly 6 teens between the ages of 16 to 19 will die in a car accident every day in the US. What are some of the factors behind these crash rates, and what can we do to remedy them?
Seat Belt Use
Teenagers are statistically the least likely to use a seat belt while driving, which can result in a higher likelihood of injury during a crash. Without a seat belt, the chance of fatal injury can go up by as much as 45%; while the chance of moderate injury can go up by about 50%.
Teens are less likely to use turn signals, which alert other driver to their intentions. Without signalling, other drivers will have less reaction time to respond to lane changes and turns.
Speeding is a problem with drivers of all ages, but especially teens. The risk factor of injury rises exponentially the faster you go. Speeding can reduce reaction time and increase braking distance; both of which are crucial to avoiding accidents.
Many teens will forget to turn on their headlights, especially when they drive at dusk. New York state law requires the use of headlights from a half hour before the sun sets, to the half hour before it rises. Additionally, headlights are required while the windshield wipers are in use.
Teen drivers often lack the experience needed to handle situations that arise due to inclement weather. From rain, to snow, to fog, the rules of the road change with the weather. Instruct your teen on how to handle these situations. If possible, go with them on their first few attempts at driving in those conditions; so that you can instruct and guide.
For every additional teen in the car, the risk of your teen crashing can increase. Having even just one passenger can affect the driver’s focus and reaction time. It may be smart to limit your teen from taking passengers until they have more experience behind the wheel.
Cellphones provide a number of both distractions, and benefits to a new driver. GPS apps can be a huge help to new drivers, but texting, phone calls, and music can all be distractions to drivers of any age.
Don’t be afraid to talk about these pressing issues with your teen. For over 25 years, we have been assisting people in the New York/New Jersey area with injury cases of all shapes and sizes; from Auto Accidents to Dog Bites. D’Agostino & Associates, P.C., and its affiliates do not provide legal advice by articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for legal advice. Call 1-888-24-LAW-24 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys. Bite Back with D’Agostino & Associates, P.C.