Fatalities in Car Crashes Involving Teenagers Increased by 10 Percent
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Oct 18, 2016 in Car Accidents
For the first time since 2006, there has been an increase in the number of fatalities in car crashes involving teenage drivers, according to a new study from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).
The study found that fatalities in these types of accidents increased by 10 percent from 2014 to 2015, as 4,689 people lost their lives in these crashes.
The increase comes after 10 years of steady declines in fatalities from these kinds of accidents. Between 2005 and 2014, traffic deaths decreased from 8,241 per year to 4,272 per year.
The GHSA report also found that teenage drivers have a 1.6 percent higher risk of being involved in a fatal accident compared to adults.
Another report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that a higher number of older teenagers die in car accidents compared to younger teenagers.
The NHTSA report, released in May, found that 39 15-year-old drivers died in car accidents in the last 10 years. Meanwhile, 472 19-year-old drivers died in fatal car accidents.
Reasons for the Increase in Fatalities
The GHSA study links the increase in fatalities to an increase in the number of teenagers who are driving, as the percentage of teenage drivers increased from 3.8 percent in 2012 to 4.1 percent by late 2014.
However, AAA conducted a survey of 142 driving instructors in August and found that the biggest mistakes made by teenage drivers were:
- Distracted driving, including talking on a cellphone
- Failing to properly scan the road
Risk-taking and inexperience can be a deadly combination, according to AAA Director of State Relations Jennifer Ryan.
Graduated driver's license programs have been shown to reduce the chances of these crashes by 30 percent, according to Pam Fischer, the consultant who wrote the GHSA report.
These programs place restrictions on young drivers, including the hours they can drive and the reasons they can drive.
However, even though all 50 states have these programs, most of them end by the time teenagers turn 18. This is a problem because one third of teenagers do not obtain a driver's license before the age of 18.
If you have lost a loved one in a car accident, contact the skilled car accident attorneys at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak. We will review your claim for free and explain all of your legal options.