As a parent, handing the car keys to your teenager can be a nerve-racking experience, and rightfully so. Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 to 20. Adding to those statistics, the chance of an accident nearly doubles when a teenager is riding with passengers.
So, a night of driving around could potentially be more dangerous than you or your teen would imagine. Before you need the legal aid of a skilled representative, like this Costa Mesa car accident attorney, check out these statistics and discuss them with your teen driver.
Cell Phones and Texting
It’s no secret that texting or talking on the phone is dangerous, but that doesn’t stop it from happening. Studies show that 32.8 percent of high schoolers admitted to texting while driving, while a whopping 48 percent of kids 12 to 17 report that they’ve been in a car when the driver was texting. Sadly, 12 percent of distracted drivers in fatal car accidents are between 15-19 years of age.
Some people might think that talking on a cell phone while driving isn’t as dangerous, but countless statistics show that any form of cell phone usage behind the wheel can double the chances of an accident and can slow reaction time to that of the average 70 year old.
With 56 percent of teenagers admitting to talking on their cell phones while driving, there is more than enough cause for concern. There apps that can help keep your teens off their smartphones while driving, but the best remedy is always an honest discussion about their safety.
Underage Drinking and Driving
Studies show that 1 in 4 fatal teen car accidents involve underage drinking while driving, or UADs. Roughly 5.8 percent of 16 to 17-year-olds admit to driving under the influence, and that number jumps to 15.1 percent between the ages of 18 to 20. Another 70 percent of those under the influence weren’t wearing their seatbelts, either.
According to sourced data, roughly 8.2 percent of high school students reported driving a car under the influence of alcohol. That statistic climbs to 13.5 percent among 12th graders. Another 33 percent aged 15 to 20 who were killed in a car crash had BAC of .01 or higher, and 28 percent had BAC of .08 or higher, which is the legal limit for drivers over the age of 21. As if it needed saying, alcohol and automobiles are a deadly combination.
2017 Teen Driver Car Accident Statistics
In 2017, 2,526 teenagers were killed in automobile accidents nationwide. There is no doubt that educating your teen on the dangers of texting and driving, drinking while driving, and the importance of wearing a seatbelt can potentially save their life.
Statistically, 9 percent of teenage motor vehicle accidents involved distracted drivers. Another 1,830 aged 15 to 20 were killed in alcohol related car crashes, and 22 percent of were not wearing a seat belt restraint during a crash, resulting in a junked car. All of these account for 57 percent of fatalities in accidents nationwide. Don’t wait. Have an honest talk with your teen today, it could just save their life.