Teenage Drivers Face Increased Risk of Accidents During the Summer
Memorial Day Weekend, the period known as the “100 deadliest days” for teenage drivers began.
Since teenagers are out of school with lots of free time, they are more likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents during this time. One department of transportation official explained, “Kids are out of school, they’re looking to have fun, and a lot of them are unfortunately new and inexperienced drivers. That can be a recipe for disaster.”
For teenagers, car accidents are the leading cause of death across the country. For every mile driven, teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 are close to three times more likely than drivers 20 years of age and older to be involved in a fatal car accident.
However, one state has started taking steps to reduce the number of teen fatalities.
In Colorado, young drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 comprised roughly 3 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2016. So far, as of April of 2017, there were seven driver deaths in the same age group, making up 3.7 percent of the 190 traffic fatalities that have occurred so far.
Though even a single teenage traffic fatality is too much, the 18 young driver deaths that occurred in 2016 are actually a reduction from the previous few years. In 2015, 24 teenagers died. In 2014, 26 died; in 2013, 28 died. Teenage car accident deaths peaked in 2004 at 107.
Colorado has implemented Graduated Driver’s License Rules for new drivers. Teenagers are not allowed to drive with passengers, other than siblings, who are under the age of 21 for the first year they have their licenses. After the first year, only one passenger under 21 is allowed to be in the car until the driver turns 18.
Additionally, teenagers are not allowed to use cell phones at all while they are driving. For the first year of driving, teen drivers are not allowed to be on the roads between midnight and 5:00 a.m.
Since the program has been implemented, there has been a reduction in teen motor vehicle deaths of close to two-thirds.
New Jersey teen driving laws and statistics
New Jersey has also taken similar steps to reduce the amount of teen traffic fatalities.
Drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 that have a probationary license under the state’s graduated driver’s license (GDL) law are not allowed to drive from 11:01 p.m. to 5 a.m. Unless accompanied by a parent or guardian, the driver may only have one passenger. Handheld electronic devices, such as cell phones and GPSs, are not to be used. A GDL decal must also be displayed on the driver’s vehicle.
New Jersey officials have noted that crashes involving teens are most often due to distractions, speeding, a failure to yield, and, of course, inexperience. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for those between the ages of 16 and 20 in New Jersey. With these driving laws in place, however, New Jersey should see a decline in crashes, much like Colorado has.
How can your teenager stay safe?
To ensure your teenage driver stays safe behind the wheel, consider the following tips.
Make sure that your teenager wears a seatbelt. Over half of the teenagers in Colorado who died in 2014 were not wearing their seatbelts.
Males, for some reason, were roughly twice as likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents as females. Take the time to ensure your sons, nephews, and other loved ones are prepared to drive safely.
Teenagers should never drink and drive. Teenagers are much more likely to be involved in an accident if they drink and drive, no matter how low their blood alcohol concentration may be.
If your loved one was involved in an accident, call our New Jersey accident lawyers today
At Leonard Legal Group, our New Jersey accident attorneys are experienced and fight for maximum compensation for your injuries. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, schedule a free consultation with our attorneys to discuss your legal options. Call our 24-hour call center at 973-984-1414 or contact us online.