Teenagers are often excited to get their license, and many are unaware or unconcerned about the fact that car crashes are the single leading killer of young people in the United States. Teen car accidents are a terrible tragedy, and innocent victims could be hurt or killed because teenage passengers make dangerous decisions behind the wheel.
When a teen crash occurs, a car accident lawyer can help the victims of the accident- including passengers and other motorists- to take legal action against the teenager who was responsible for causing the crash to occur. Teen drivers and their parents need to be aware of some of the common causes of teen collisions, and of ways to prevent them, to avoid liability and to save lives.
Tips for the Prevention of Atlanta Teen Car Accident Deaths
Insurance.com recently reported on some of the problems contributing to the high death rate among young motorists. The report focused on research conducted by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which suggests that one of the biggest dangers faced by teens is being underestimated. AAA did a study of more than 1,700 collisions involving teenagers, and looked at footage from the seconds immediately before the accident happened. Based on this research, it was concluded that distracted driving is the cause of far more teen collisions than originally thought.
Much of the data on distracted driving crashes caused by teens is cobbled together from police reports, but police repots are incomplete and may be inaccurate since many teens won't admit to being distracted behind the wheel. Assessing the six-second period right before a crash gave AAA Foundation more insight than simply a review of crash reports. The assessment performed on the teen's performance in the seconds before a crash revealed that 58 percent of the crashes was likely caused by some form of driver distraction. Obviously, this is much higher than official estimates suggesting around 14 percent of crashes involving teen drivers.
Part of the reason why distraction may be under-counted as a cause of teen crashes is that there are many different kinds of distraction, but the focus is often heavily on cell phones and not other high risk behaviors. Common distractions affecting the safety of teen drivers include:
- Talking or interacting with passengers, which was a causal factor in 15 percent of accidents.
- Using a cell phone, which caused 12 percent of crashes.
- Looking at something in the car, which was a cause of nine percent of teen collisions.
- Looking at something outside of the car, which was a close second to an interior search at eight percent of accidents.
- Singing to, or moving to, music. Eight percent of crashes were attributed to this behavior.
- Grooming, which has been identified as a causal factor in six percent of collisions.
- Reaching for objects or other items in the vehicle, which causes around six percent of crashes.
When a driver of any age is focused on these or other distractions instead of the road and a crash happens, victims should pursue a civil claim against the driver so their damages can be paid by the person who hurt them.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Van Sant Law, LLC can represent victims after a collision. Call today at 404-991-5950 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.