The facts surrounding teen driving and vehicle crashes are revealed through the startling statistic that six teens die every day in motor vehicle collisions throughout the United States.
At Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen, our car collision attorneys in Las Vegas, Nevada provide tips for teens and their parents to avoid the pitfalls young drivers encounter — especially in the summer months, when they have more time to explore unfamiliar roads, which can significantly increase their risk for collisions.
Teen Driving Motor Vehicle Crash Statistics
The more we know about teen driving and motor vehicle crash causes, the more we can provide talking points for parents and teens to have conversations about safe driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, last year there were:
- 3,255 teen drivers (ages 16 to 19) involved in fatal crashes
- 2,526 teens killed in crashes; 297 of whom were killed in distraction-affected crashes
What Are the Common Causes of Teen Driving Collisions?
The summer months of June, July, and August are statistically the most dangerous months for teens on the road.
First, teen drivers spend more time behind the wheel in summer months because they have more free time and more recreational activities, which leads to longer trips, driving at night, and more reckless activities, including parties, graduations, and vacations.
The three most common causes of teen driving vehicle collisions include:
- Distracted driving is dangerous for everyone, claiming 3,166 lives of both teen and adult drivers last year in the U.S.
Among teens aged 16 to 19, distraction is the main factor in 58% of all crashes, including the following:
- Texting while driving: Research suggests that one in three teens who text say they have done so while driving.
- Texting while driving increases the risk of crashing by 23 times
- Dialing a phone number while driving increases a teen’s risk of crashing by six times
- More passengers: Talking, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company often takes precedence over the driver’s ability to focus on the road.
- One teen passenger increases the fatal crash risk by 44%
- Three teen passengers may raise the rate by as much as 300%
Technically referred to as the lack of scanning, teens are less likely to detect, evaluate, and respond to hazards. This leads to taking chances that most adults would not, which can increase the chance of a crash.
Speed is more than just exceeding the speed limit, but a teen simply driving too fast for the current road conditions. Whether it is the weather, construction, traffic congestion, or overall visibility, speeding causes 21% of serious traffic crashes involving a teen driver.
What Can I Do to Help My Teenager Remain Safe While Driving?
At Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen, our Clark County personal injury attorneys understand the anxiety having teen drivers under your roof can cause.
When it is time for young adults to get behind the wheel, parents can help their teenagers adjust to the rules of the road by simply having regular conversations about their driving habits.
Here are a few easy tips for starting those conversations:
- Discuss the importance of seat belt use.
Seat belt use is lowest among teen drivers. Last year alone over 800 teen drivers who were killed in vehicle collisions were not wearing their seat belts; almost 570 passengers suffered the same fate.
- Stress the importance of your teen’s full attention at all times.
This means no texting and driving, and limiting the number of passengers your teens can have in the car at once, to help avoid dangerous distractions.
- Evaluate when and where your teens can drive.
If there are dangerous roads you do not want your teens traveling, make that clear. In addition, if your teen has difficulty seeing at night, set restrictions for their drive times.
- Educate your teens on impaired driving.
At no time is it acceptable to drive while impaired. If your teen finds themselves in a difficult position with alcohol or drugs – even if they are taking prescription medications – ask them to contact you for a ride, or to use a rideshare service, like Uber or Lyft, to get home.
Discussing your teens’ plans and checking in to make sure they do not have any questions about driving decisions allows teens to feel as though they have a partner in their roadway education. The more they know, and the more you share, the safer they may be.
Did You or Your Teen Driver Suffer Injuries in a Collision With a Negligent Driver?
Your teen is not the only one behind the wheel this summer, and if you or someone in your home has been involved in a vehicle crash with a negligent driver, contact our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen today by calling (702) 505-8115 to schedule a confidential consultation.