Mar 31st, 2021
Paulozzi Joseph

For most teenagers, getting a driver’s license is one of the first big steps toward independence. But sometimes that independence comes at a very high cost. Despite greater awareness, better education, and more effective safety equipment, car crashes are still the leading cause of death for US teens. Per mile driven, teens 16-19 are 3 times more likely to die in a car accident than drivers 20 and older.

Lack of experience and poor judgment are factors contributing to behaviors that result in teen car accidents. Distraction and speed can turn a fun outing into a tragic ending.

At Paulozzi LPA, our Cleveland car accident attorneys appreciate the desire for independence by teenage drivers and want to help parents be able to guide their teens toward safer driving practices.

Recent Teenage Car Accident Statistics

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the following statistics were true of teenage car accident fatalities in the US in 2019.

  • 2,375 teenagers 13-19 were killed in car crashes
  • Boys outnumbered girls almost 2 to 1
  • Teen drivers 18-19 made up 56% of the teen drivers killed
  • More teen passengers died when riding with a teen driver
  • Close to half (47%) of the teen drivers 17 – 19 were not wearing seat belts
  • Over 50% of the accidents occurred on a weekend
  • Most accidents occurred in May, June & July
  • Almost 22% of the teen drivers killed had blood alcohol levels at or higher than the legal limit
  • Most accidents took place between 9 pm and midnight

Why Teens are More Likely to Get in Car Accidents

There are several risk factors that make it more likely a teen will be involved in a car crash. Making sure your teen understands why these behaviors increase the risk of getting in a car accident will help keep everyone safe.

Inexperience – Teens, especially very new drivers, lack the experience necessary to deal with unexpected traffic or road conditions and may not know or be able to take the appropriate action to avoid a crash.

Distraction – Cell phones and/or other teen passengers can cause the driver to take hands off the wheel and attention off the road.

Poor Judgment – Not wearing a seatbelt, drinking alcohol, and speeding or other unsafe driving behavior contributes to both the likelihood and severity of an accident.

How You Can Help Keep Your Teen Safe While Driving

All states have some form of Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system to help new drivers gain experience while limiting the conditions under which they are allowed to drive for certain periods of time. In Ohio, drivers under 17 are restricted from driving late at night and carrying more than one non-family passenger without adult supervision. Drivers under 18 are prohibited from using any mobile device while driving.

Knowing the laws and stressing the importance of safety to your teen while he or she is learning and during the first few years of driving will help create responsible drivers and save lives.

However, even when everyone tries their best, accidents are still going to happen. If you or your teen gets injured in a car crash, the Cleveland car accident lawyers at Paulozzi LPA are here to help you recover and get back to your life. You may contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 888-710-0040.

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