Car accidents are the leading cause of teenage deaths in the United States. According to national teen driving statistics, teenagers between 16 and 19 years old are more likely to get involved in car accidents when compared to people of other age groups. Teenagers seem to believe that they are invincible and this together with the feeling of personal freedom that comes with being a teenager often puts them in dangerous situations. It is a true fact that car accidents often go hand in hand with teenagers and this is mostly due to their lack of driving experience. It would be worthwhile to go
through the teen car accident statistics before parents hand over the car keys to their ward. Given below are the scary statistics of teens involved in car accidents.
• Teenage drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 years of age are four times likely to experience car accidents that any other age group.
• Car accidents are the number one cause of teen deaths and are estimated to claim the lives of at least 11 teens every day.
• In 2009, more than 3,000 teenagers between the ages 15 and 19 lost their lives due to motor-vehicle accidents and
more than 350,000 suffered injuries that required treatment in emergency departments.
• About 16 % of the teen car accidents are caused by distracted driving.
• In 2009, 691 people were killed in car accidents that involved distracted teenage drivers.
• The risk of car accidents involving teens increase with the number of teen passengers. It has been found that the risk of a serious accident is two times when teen drivers have other passengers on board. The risk is actually five times the normal risk with two or more passengers.
• Cell phone usage while driving is another form of distraction that increases the risks of accidents. According to a survey, about 13% of teenagers admitted to texting behind the wheel while 56% of teens admitted to talking on the cell phone while driving.
• According to 2009 statistics, about 3,589 male drivers were involved in serious accidents as against 1,558 female drivers. The number of male driver fatalities was 1,682 whereas the female driver fatalities were 654.
• About 31% of the teen drivers involved in fatal accidents didn’t have valid operator’s licenses at the time of the accident because of previous license suspensions.
• As per the 2009 statistics, 20% of the young drivers involved in serious accidents had been previously convicted of speeding and other offenses.
• In 2009, 33 % of the teenagers between the ages of 15 and 20 who died in car accidents had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .01 or more while 28 % had a BAC of .08 or more, which is higher than the legal limit.
• Nearly 60% of the teenagers involved in car accidents due to drinking and driving, were not wearing a seat belt. 70% of the young drivers who died in accidents
caused by drunk driving also did not use a seat belt.
• In 2008, about 20% of the accidents occurred at nighttime especially between 9 PM and 12 PM.
• The possibility of car accidents is very high during the first year that the teenagers become eligible to drive.
• In accidents that involve teenage deaths, at least 2 other people are also killed.
Although most teenagers are well aware of the consequences of distracted and drunk driving, they tend to neglect the safety measures once they are behind the wheel. Even the simple task of wearing a seat belt is also being ignored most of the time. In spite of the fact that many states have introduced strict rules to curb the rates of teen car accidents, unfortunately there are still a few groups of teenagers who are not willing to follow them simply because they don’t
care. As a parent, it is vital that you teach your teen about the importance of safe driving and what precautionary measures they should take in order to avoid car accidents.
How to make sure that your teens drive safely
Teenagers often the lack the ability to foresee danger and this makes them at a loss to respond immediately. These are skills that your teen will develop gradually over time with years of experience behind the wheel. The following are a few tips that will help parents to ensure that their teen drives safely.
• Do not allow your teenager to hit the busy road soon after he become eligible for driving. Allow them to start driving first in roads with less traffic and once they gain some confidence and experience, you can extend the range.
• Make sure that your teen does not drive during the nighttime.
• Restrict the number of passengers in the vehicle as the possibility of car accidents increases with additional passengers.
• Educate your child on the consequences of using cell phones while driving. Ask them not to talk on the phone, text or use phone applications when they drive. If they must attend to the phone calls or messages, they can pull over to a safe spot and do it.
• Drunk driving is the major cause of teenage accidents and deaths. Make sure that your child understands the aftereffects of drinking and driving.
As your teenager begins to understand that driving is no child’s play and should be taken seriously, he/she will soon refrain from taking dangerous risks. If every teenager is motivated in such a way, we can bring down the accidents numbers to a great extent and save the lives of thousands of people.