National Teen Driver Safety Week is October 21st – 27th
Motor vehicle wrecks continue to be a leading cause of death and injury for drivers ages 16 thru 19 with their likelihood of being involved in a fatal crash three times more than drivers 20 and older. And those statistics resonate here in Michigan too. In 2017, the 15-20 age group represented 7.8 percent of all Michigan traffic deaths, with 57.5 percent of those deaths being the driver. Overall, 10,521 teenagers and young adults were injured in a crash last year in the state. In addition, the cost of an accident involving a young driver is astronomical and easily exceeds $1.4 million.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety research reports when a parent chooses to become involved in their teen driver’s skill training, the time spent can help reduce collisions and minimize the risk of roadway injuries and fatalities for all travelers sharing the road with them. If you are not currently working with your teen driver on practicing safe operating skills, we think the week of October 21st, National Teen Driver Safety Week, is the perfect time to start.
Recognize These 4 Factors Contributing to Teen Driver Crashes
Inexperience, risk-taking behavior, immaturity, and greater risk exposure are all proven triggers that increase crash and injury risks for young drivers. Because of these factors, teen drivers are more likely to miss road hazards, speed while driving, and not wear their seatbelts. Talk to your teen about these four deadly mistakes responsible for more than 60 percent of all teen crashes, including:
- Hazard Recognition: Because their scan and search skills are underdeveloped, it takes young drivers longer to recognize a hazard than older drivers, increasing their crash risk.
- Speed and Space Management: Teens are more likely than older drivers to speed and to allow shorter distance from the rear of one vehicle to the front of the next. Young male drivers involved in fatal crashes are more likely to be caught speeding at the time of the crash, compared to female drivers in the same age groups.
- Vehicle Handling: Motor coordination of the eyes, hands, and feet are needed to work through the physical maneuvers of day-to-day driving. Teens may not possess these skills and instead overestimate their driving abilities beyond those of a vehicle’s technology and operating system.
- Distracted and Impaired Driving: Teens are more easily distracted by texting, riding with friends, eating, using drugs or alcohol, playing music, and using mobile apps while driving.
Unfortunately, young drivers are often the cause of otherwise avoidable accidents. Parents can play one of the most important roles to keeping everyone, including their teen, safe on the road. Give new drivers practice, be a good role model, and remind them often that safe driving skills take time to develop.
Have You Been Injured in a Motor Vehicle Crash?
If you or someone you love has been injured or died in a motor vehicle accident caused by the poor decisions of a reckless driver, you and your family may be entitled to compensation for things like medical bills, lost wages, and funeral expenses.
Call The Lee Steinberg Law Firm today for a FREE consultation with one of our experienced Michigan auto accident attorneys: 1-800-LEE-FREE.