Now that Memorial Weekend is past and we are well into June, this is the time when teen drivers killed on the highways reach all-time highs. The AAA issued a news release at the first of this month (June 1, 2016), “Over the past five years, more than 5,000 people have been killed in crashes involving teen drivers during the ‘100 Deadliest Days,’ the period starting at Memorial Day when teen crash deaths historically climb.”
“As the summer driving season begins, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is releasing a follow-up study confirming that nearly 60 percent of teen crashes involve distractions behind the wheel. The research also finds a disturbing trend showing that texting and social media use are on the rise amongst teen drivers.”
We have written about behind-the-wheel dangers several times here at Tauber Law Offices. As a family ourselves, we care about other families and do all we can to reduce the number of victims of vehicular accidents by promoting safety precautions as often as we can. We feel we cannot share this information enough.
You may have a teen driver yourself. It is critically important that you review safety information with your child, especially if he/she is younger and a newer driver. Teens tend to think they are invulnerable and they will live forever. That just seems to be their nature.
Let’s get back to the information from AAA. “Crashes for teen drivers increase significantly during the summer months because teens drive more during this time of year. Over the past five years during the ‘100 Deadliest Days,’ statistics tell us:
- An average of 1,022 people died each year in crashes involving teen drivers
- The average number of deaths from crashes involving teen drivers ages 16-19 increased by 16 percent per day compared to other days of the year.”
This year’s new follow-up report from the AAA Foundation is part of the most comprehensive eight-year research project ever conducted into crash videos of teen drivers. In collaboration with researchers at the University of Iowa, the AAA Foundation analyzed the moments leading up to a crash in more than 2,200 videos captured from in-car dash cameras. The latest report compared new crash videos with those captured from 2007 through 2012 and found consistent trends in the top three distractions for teens when behind the wheel in the moments leading up to a crash:
- Talking or attending to other passengers in the vehicle: 15 percent of crashes
- Talking, texting or operating a cell phone: 12 percent of crashes
- Attending to or looking at something inside the vehicle: 11 percent of crashes
“Every day during the summer driving season, an average of 10 people die as a result of injuries from a crash involving a teen driver” said Jurek Grabowski, Research Director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “This new research shows that distraction continues to be one of the leading causes of crashes for teen drivers. By better understanding how teens are distracted on the road, we can better prevent deaths throughout the 100 Deadliest Days and the rest of the year.”
“It’s no secret that teens are extremely connected to their cell phones,” said Jennifer Ryan, AAA Director of State Relations. “Many teens are texting or using social media behind the wheel more often than in the past, which is making an unsafe situation even worse.”
“Nearly two-thirds of people injured or killed in crashes involving a teen driver are people other than the teen themselves,” Ryan added. “This shows that teen drivers can be a risk to everyone on the road and it is important to regulate their actions when behind the wheel.”
Keeping cell phones out of the hands of teen drivers is a top priority for AAA. The Association’s advocacy efforts are helping to protect teens by working to pass graduated driver licensing laws and teen wireless bans in states across the country.
During the ‘100 Deadliest Days’, the AAA encourages parents to educate their teen about the dangers of distracted driving and monitor their actions behind the wheel.
- Have conversations early and often about the dangers of distraction.
- Make a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules against distracted driving.
- Teach by example and minimize distractions when driving.
At Tauber Law Offices, your safety and that of your family is a priority to us. If, by chance, you or a loved one would be harmed through the negligence of a distracted driver, contact us. Tauber Law will investigate your case thoroughly, and if we believe you are entitled to a monetary settlement for your injuries, we will fight aggressively to make that happen. There is never a charge for your initial consultation.