It is National Teen Driver Safety Week and federal crash data shows that teenagers could use a reminder of the need to practice safe driving.
A study of federal data by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) found that, in 2015, fatalities from car accidents involving teenage drivers increased for the first time in nearly 10 years. Fatalities increased from 4,272 in 2014 to 4,689 in 2015, a 10-percent increase.
The number of fatalities from these types of accidents had decreased by 50 percent between 2005 and 2014.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that the risk of a getting into an accident is higher for older teenagers. In the past 10 years, only 39 15-year-old drivers died in car accidents compared to 472 19-year-old drivers.
One way to reduce crashes with teenage drivers is to make sure they get sufficient practice. AAA recommends that teenagers spend 50 hours behind the wheel in the first six months after receiving their driver’s licenses. During those 50 hours, teenagers should have one non-family passenger in the car.
Another way to potentially reduce crashes involving teenage drivers is for states to expand graduated driver’s license programs beyond age 18.
Pam Fischer, the author of the GHSA study, noted that all 50 states have these programs and they have been shown to reduce the risk of teenage-driver crashes by 30 percent.
Unfortunately, these programs end by the time teenagers turns 18 and one in three teenagers does not obtain a driver’s license before turning 18.
States need to realize that teenagers might not be mentally mature by the time they reach 18, says Fischer.
If you have been injured in an auto accident with a negligent driver, the car accident attorneys at Simien & Simien will go over all of your legal options in a free consultation.
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