Teen Drivers Are At Great Risk On The Road In Kentucky
As teenagers get older, they long for the freedom that comes with obtaining their driver's license and being able to get behind the wheel of a car and control their own comings and goings. While this is a rite of passage that nearly every teen faces, it is not without its dangers. Teen drivers are at significant risk of getting into serious or fatal accidents.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), teen driving deaths increased in Kentucky in 2012 for 16 and 17 year olds. Kentucky was tied for fourth in the most teenage deaths for the first six months of 2012. This is a statistic that needs to be changed. There are things that can be done to help teen drivers improve their driving safety skills.
One of the primary reasons for the high rate of accidents and injuries in teen drivers is that there is an inherent lack of experience. The only way to change this circumstance is to get more time behind the wheel of a vehicle, especially with an experienced driver, such as a parent or other seasoned motorist. Having a parent or other responsible adult to shape the behaviors and habits of young drivers is critical for success on the road. Another critical handicap for teen drivers is youthful naiveté. It is innate in teenagers that they believe they are infallible and indestructible. This persists despite ample evidence to the contrary. Part of this mindset is hardwired in the developing teenage brain, but education and graduated incentive programs can change behaviors, forcing teenagers to earn more driving privileges after exhibiting important skills and responsible behavior.
There are certain other important factors surrounding teenage drivers:
The less experienced the driver, the greater the risk
- a driver faces his or her greatest odds of being involved in a car crash in the first six months of driving with a new license.
Teenage drivers face a greater threat from inclement weather
- environmental factors, such as wet roadways, foggy conditions, high winds, and rain will impact a younger driver significantly more than an older, more skilled driver.
High rates of speed kill teenagers and others
- the greatest threat of serious accidents and death facing teens comes from excessive rates of speed. Young drivers do not have the skills to react to dangers and when they come at them rapidly because of high speeds, teenagers lose the contest. Part of the danger from speeding includes over-correcting a steering mistake and driving off the roadway. The number of fatal accidents involving a car full of teenagers and young adults and impact with a tree is truly sobering.
Teenagers have a much greater probability of driving while distracted
- teenagers often seem incapable of being separated from their smart phones and other technologies. Teens also will apply makeup while behind the wheel, surf the radio looking for specific music, or fool around with friends in the car. All of this contributes to serious accidents and an increased rate of fatalities. Statistics from the American Automobile Association indicate that eleven percent (11%) of teenage driving deaths was attributable to distracted driving.
Teenagers develop bad habits from friends early in their driving careers
- teens are strongly influenced by their friends and their early behaviors. It takes intensive education to overcome peer influence and continuous technology use.
Greater risk of death
- teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 years are four (4) times more likely to die in a fatal crash than drivers 25-69.
It is important to continue to help teenage drivers learn to respect the dangers of driving long after they have obtained their driver's license. These statistics have improved over the past fifteen years, but far more needs to be done to ensure the safety of teenage drivers and those sharing the road with them.
If you have been involved in an accident, whether or not a teenage driver was involved, you need the counsel of personal injury attorneys. The attorneys at Goeing Goeing and McQuinn PLLC have the knowledge to evaluate your case, make sure you are getting the right medical care, and outline your legal options. We would like to discuss all of this with you during a no-pressure free consultation, which you can schedule by calling (888) 595-2943 or completing an online contact form.