Traffic Crashes Continue to Be Leading Cause of Teen Death
Posted on November 7th, 2017 by Zane Cagle
Motor Vehicle Incidents are the Leading Cause of Teen Deaths
In 2016, there were more than 3,500 teens killed in crashes nationwide. In Missouri, during 2013-2015, there were 284 fatalities in the 15-20 years of age range. Those are way too many traffic fatalities.
Usually, I share teen driving reminders in the spring during prom and graduation season, but teens are the age group having the most fatal auto accidents, all year round. A number of fatalities involving teens have occurred in the state of Missouri in the last few months.
Contributors to the Crashes
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about a quarter of the national fatalities involved alcohol. “As an age group, teen drivers get involved in more crashes than anyone else on the road, ” said Matt Nasworthy, spokesperson for AAA.
Distracted driving is dangerous for all driver, but according to AAA, distracted driving seems to be a bigger problem for teens and the distraction doesn’t always involve a phone. “We see that almost six out of 10 of their crashes are caused by distraction…and the number one distraction for teens is having another teen passenger in the car.” says Nasworthy. Teen passengers should be sure they are assisting the other teen driver by not distracting them and handling the radio controls, phone calls, etc so the teen driver can focus on the road.
What Can We Do?
Teenagers are exposed to safety information messages daily, however, how many teenagers tune in to those messages? Part of being a teen is the optimistic, invincible feeling that comes with being young and naïve. As teens, we never thought we would be the statistic in a motor vehicle accident. As adults, we think that way. We could no longer get into a car and drive or ride in a car if we thought we were going to be in a crash.
As parents, we have to remind teens and supervise their driving privileges as well. Since we know that it is more dangerous when there is a car load of teens, parents may put restrictions on the number of passengers a teen may have in their car. It’s not that groups of teens are dangerous in of themselves, but when multiple people are in the car, the teen driver often becomes distracted.
Distraction -Number One Cause of Crashes
Distracted driving is the number one cause of crashes for all drivers. Distracted driving does not just involve the use of a cell phone, but also any behavior that causes the driver to become distracted. Whether that is changing the radio, talking with other people in the car, eating, putting on make up, and the list goes on. Adults and teens must refrain from these driving distractions.
If You Are Injured in a Motor Vehicle Crash
If you are involved in a motor vehicle incident and are injured, then you will need legal assistance. Call an attorney before you “overshare” with any insurance company. Stick with the facts and if you are hurt, do not discuss your injuries with the adjuster.
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