Car Wrecks Are Leading Cause of Death for Teens


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The leading cause of death amongst teenagers between 15 – 20 years old is car wrecks. That's according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Teenagers are three times more likely to be killed in a collision than any other age group. Not only do these drivers not yet have the experience to cope with hazardous driving conditions but immaturity tends to cause them to make bad decisions like failing to buckle up their seatbelt or speeding. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 55% of teens killed in a car wreck weren't wearing their seatbelt.

Graduated Driver's License

Many states in the U.S. have introduced a type of graduated driver's license. This gives teens the opportunity to gain supervised experience without added distractions. The graduated driver's license comprises boundaries for driver's under 18 years of age, including:

  • No cell phones permitted while driving
  • No nighttime driving between the hours of 1am and 5am for the first year after receiving a license
  • No passengers under 20 years of age for the first six months with the exception of immediate family members
  • For the six months after that, no more than three passengers under the age of 20 who are not related to the driver

Teenage Drivers and Distractions

Auditory and visual stimulation both inside and outside the car often distract teenage drivers. Even though texting while driving is prohibited, many teens report that they do respond to text messages while they are driving.

Teenage Drivers and Alcohol

It is illegal for teenagers to drink and drive. While young drivers seem to drink and drive less than adults, when they do, they are more likely to have a car wreck due to their inexperience with both alcohol and driving.

Improving Teenage Driving

There is technology available that can help teenagers become better drivers.

  • After-market devices are available that monitor a teen's driving speeds and position and can even limit texting.
  • Seatbelts are basic safety devices. When a teen drives a car with in-vehicle seatbelt alerts and parents model and enforce seatbelt use, teens are more likely to use them.
  • Breathalyzers are equipped to detect how much alcohol is in a teenager's blood stream and inform them that that should not be behind the wheel.
  • There are cell phone blocking technologies on the market that prohibit teen drivers from texting or answering their phone while they are driving. There are various after-market products and cell phone apps available.

Supervision and Practice are Essential

While technology is great, directed practice with an adult in the car is essential for teens to learn to be safe drivers and avoid a car wreck, especially within the first six months of driving. If your teen is involved in a car wreck, seek legal advice regarding fault, claims and processes. The lawyers at Clore Law will help you with personal injuries and procedures. Give us a call at 843.722.8070 or fill in the contact form online.

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Clore Law Group welcomes your questions about any issues concerning a serious personal injury, car accident, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, or business tort. If you have a viable claim, we’ll explain the legal process. Since consultations are always free, there’s no cost in learning your legal options.