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4 Risks to Teen Drivers

The summer is a time of freedom for young people. Unshackled from the bonds of school and education, they are free to pursue social outings and vacations uninterrupted for three whole months. Teens frequently take road trips, whether it is to find the perfect camping spot or rent out a house on the beach. Consequently, it is common to see many teen drivers on the road this time of year.

According to a fact sheet published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2650 teens perished as a result of car accidents in 2011. A staggering 292,000 were placed in hospitals or similar establishments as a result of accident-related injuries.

What should be done about this problem?  Simply raising the legal age of obtaining a driver's license will not resolve the issue. To fully understand the reason these numbers are so high -- and to effectively lower them -- we must understand the risks and what causes them. Below is a list of five risks commonly associated to teens:

#1: Texting While Driving

Texting while driving fits within the realm of  distracted driving. Teenagers are notorious for using their cellular devices while driving down the road, which can make them oblivious to changing road conditions. They may fail to notice the braking of the vehicle in front of them, loose children or animals, or hazards on the road itself.

#2: Speeding / Aggressive Driving

Teenagers are also more likely to speed than older drivers. According to the CDC, 37% of male teenage drivers in 2012 were speeding at the time of the crash. Not only does speeding give teenage drivers (who are already inexperienced at judging road conditions) less time to react, it also amplifies the damage and injuries sustained as a result of the collision.

#3: Male Passengers

It seems that male passengers have an influence on how the teen (male or female) drives. According to the CDC, "the presence of male teenage passengers increases the likelihood of this risky driving behavior". Why? Perhaps it is because of the widely discussed and debated "peer pressure", which is something very prominent in  the life of a teenager. Male passengers may encourage reckless driving, heightening the risk of accidents.

#4: Lack of Seatbelt Use

Seat belts are specifically designed to prevent injury and death in automobile accidents, keeping you strapped in place. According to the CDC, teens have the lowest seat belt usage rate, compared to all other age groups. Only 55% of teens in 2013 reported that they always wear seat belts. In the case of a car accident, this increases the risk of personal injury.

Have you been in a vehicle accident involving a teen driver? Do you know any teens who suffered injuries in a wreck? Colley & Colley will help you or your teen get back up on your feet, and pursue legal action. For more information or questions, contact an experienced East Texas attorney today.