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Texas Personal Injury News

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Age and Car Accidents: Are They Related?

Car accidents are unfortunately one of the leading causes of death in the United States. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that the highest rates of crashes by population occur when the drivers are between the ages of 16 and 17. The rate of crashes then decreases until about age 60 to 69, then tapers off.

Based on total numbers of miles, younger drivers also consistently have the highest rates of crashes per miles driven as well. As drivers get older—over 65 and beyond—this number increases as well, but never back to teen-driver levels. Based on these statistics, it is clear that age and the likelihood of being involved in a car accident are certainly correlated.

Teen Driver Statistics

In 2015, there were 2,333 teens in the U.S. between the ages of 16 and 19 who were killed in car accidents. Another 221,313 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries suffered due to a car crash in 2014. In 2013, those between the ages of 15 and 19 accounted for roughly 7% of the population, but they caused or contributed to $10 billion in motor vehicle injuries, or 11% of all injury costs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, male teens are twice as likely to be in motor vehicle accidents compared to females of similar ages. The crash rate per mile driven is also three times higher for those between the ages of 16 and 17 compared to 18 to 19 year-olds.

Having passengers in the vehicle also increases the crash risk as well. As the number of teen passengers increases, and so does the likelihood that the vehicle will be involved in a collision.

Keeping Younger Drivers Safe

Many of the tips and tricks to keep teen drivers safe are the same as those keeping adult drivers safe. However, teen drivers may need to some extra emphasis on these safety tips because they have not yet developed good habits when it comes to safe driving. If you are a parent, friend, or acquaintance, help younger drivers by encouraging safe driving habits.

  • Always wear your seatbelt every time you get in the car and encourage all passengers to do the same.
  • Never drink and drive or drive while you are drowsy or otherwise impaired.
  • Keep your focus on the road; avoid texting, calling, or using your smart phone while you drive.
  • Set navigation and music preferences before you begin to drive.
  • Always follow the rules of the road carefully and do not engage in reckless or risky driving behaviors such as sudden stopping, tight turns, or quick acceleration.
  • Do not speed. Slow down on curves and in construction zones.
  •  Be sure that all of the necessary functions of the vehicle are working properly, including turn signals, brakes, headlights, and windshield wipers.

Night time driving can be particularly challenging for teens, so take extra precautions after dusk. Your teen should also avoid driving with passengers until he or she is more experienced and comfortable behind the wheel.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, you may have a legal claim. Our team can discuss your options with you. Contact us today.


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