Spike in Teen Car Accident Fatalities Prove That More Work Needed to Protect Novice Drivers


March 26, 2013

Inexperienced teen drivers are especially likely to be involved in serious motor vehicle collisions that cause devastating injuries and fatalities, but there were signs until recently that progress was being made on reducing the number of traffic collisions involving teen drivers.

Strategies employed in Georgia mirrored those of many states, including use of restricted driver’s licenses for novice teen drivers, zero tolerance bans on teen drinking and driving and laws prohibiting use of cell phones by new teen drivers.

These laws combined with extensive public awareness campaigns covering texting and driving, and driving under the influence (DUI) corresponded with substantial declines in teen accident and fatality rates in recent years. However, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association indicates that after a decade of declining teen fatality rates, the first half of 2012 saw a twenty percent increase in the number of teens who died in motor vehicle accidents. While this is preliminary data so the results could change, the sharp upward spike in teen driving deaths is troubling.

Despite the progress made in promoting safe teen driving, motor vehicle accidents remain the leading cause of teen deaths and account for a quarter of all teen deaths according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC reports that 2,700 teens were killed in teen driving accidents and another 282,000 were treated in emergency rooms during a recent twelve month period.

While there are multiple factors that contribute to the high number of fatal traffic collisions involving teenagers, some of the most significant factors identified by the CDC include:

  • Lack of experience perceiving and reacting to road hazards
  • Distractions involving cell phones and teen passengers
  • Exceeding the speed limit
  • Lack of maturity and experience
  • Increased willingness to engage in high risk behavior
  • Failure to allow sufficient stopping distance (i.e. tailgating)
  • Less prevalent use of seat belts

The national news has been inundated with reports of horrific teen accidents across the U.S. last week, which include:

  • Six Ohio teenagers died when their vehicle crashed into a pond.
  • Five Texas teenagers were killed when their vehicle slammed into a tanker truck.
  • Four Illinois teenagers were killed when their vehicle crashed into a creek.
  • Three Indiana teens were killed when drivers in two separate trucks ran through stop signs colliding in a head-on collision.

This has been a bad week for multi-fatality teen car accidents. Montlick and Associates extends its deepest condolences to the families of these teenagers and others who lost their lives in collisions this week. We hope that parents will take notice and emphasize to their kids the importance of driving safely. A teen driving safety advocate commented, “The numbers are so small and spread out geographically. It’s only when you put the numbers together that people even begin to take notice.” At Montlick and Associates, we believe the time to take notice and promote teen driving safety is now.

The Georgia car accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

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