Teens throughout Southern California drive to school each day and often to part-time jobs, and they spend evenings and weekends driving around with friends. Teens are at much higher risk of being involved in a serious or fatal car accident than are drivers of other ages, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If you or your teen has been in an accident caused by a teen driver in Santa Barbara, contact attorney Stephen R. Andrade and the knowledgeable legal team at Andrade Law Offices. Mr. Andrade has decades of experience handling car accident cases and is a highly regarded trial attorney.
What Factors Put Teen Drivers at Risk?
It is important to understand teen accident risk factors in order to prevent deadly traffic collisions.
Teens are inexperienced drivers and are less likely to recognize hazardous situations.
Teens also are more likely to speed and to follow other vehicles too closely, making it harder to avoid a collision
While teen and young adult drivers between the ages of 15 and 24 make up a total of 14 percent of the population in our country, they account for between 28 percent and 30 percent of all motor vehicle accident costs. According to the Washington Post, car accidents involving teenage drivers often occur when teens are driving with friends in the car.
Researchers at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute analyzed 10 years of traffic accident data and found a “30 percent increase in deaths when other teens are present” in a vehicle driven by a teen.
The researchers said that 15-to-17-year-old drivers are almost eight times as likely to get into a fatal accident when they are carrying two or more passengers. According to the CDC, the following risk factors may increase the risk of a teen traffic collision:
- Gender/Sex: about two times as many teen males as females are killed in auto accidents each year;
- Other teen passengers: as we mentioned, the presence of other teens in a teenage driver's vehicle can increase the risk of a crash; and
- Recent licensure: more teens get into accidents in the first few months of driving.
The CDC lists the eight danger zones or leading causes of teenage car crashes:
- Inexperience behind the wheel;
- Presence of teen passengers;
- Driving at night;
- Failing to wear a seat belt;
- Distracted driving, including texting while driving;
- Drowsy or fatigued driving;
- Aggressive or reckless driving; and
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
How to Prevent Teen Car Accidents
What can we do to prevent teen auto accidents? According to the CDC fact sheet, the following safety prevention tips are important for teens and parents to understand when it comes to avoiding a fatal traffic collision:
- Always wearing a seat belt;
- Never drinking and driving;
- Participating in a graduated driver licensing program; and
- Understanding the leading causes of teen car accidents.
If you or someone you love recently got hurt in a car collision caused by another driver, an experienced Southern California car accident lawyer can discuss your legal options with you free of charge. Contact Andrade Law Offices to learn more.