Dangers of Teen Driving & Safety Tips
Did you know that Memorial Day to Labor Day is known as the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers? AAA data reveals that more than 7,000 people died in teen driving-related summertime crashes between 2010 and 2019, which equates to an average of 7 teen driving fatalities per day during the summer in the US, compared to an average of 6 deaths per day for the rest of the year. Summer break is likely the catalyst of these increased fatality rates, as teens have more unstructured time behind the wheel.
Previous research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that new teen drivers ages 16 to 17 are 3 times as likely as adults to get into a deadly crash. A survey about teen driving behaviors confirms the suspected reasons behind these fatal incidents. In the survey, teens admitted to doing the following:
- Speeding on the highway
- Speeding in residential areas
- Not wearing their seatbelt
- Driving aggressively
- Running red lights
- Driving drowsy
With these alarming results in mind, AAA recommends that parents practice safe driving behaviors and ensure their teens do the same. It also suggests parents consider enrolling their teens in a comprehensive driver education course as pandemic restrictions ease. These choices could have a life-saving impact for teens and people who share the roads with them. Not to mention, practicing safe driving could save teens a lot of legal hassle should they get a ticket. New drivers tend to face harsher administrative penalties for getting a ticket, such as license suspension and revocation, points assessed to their driving record, and more.
As you can see, there are many reasons to drive safely all year round, including saving lives and avoiding traffic tickets.
Three Deadly Crash Factors
New drivers are at a higher risk of getting into accidents and receiving traffic tickets because, well, they’re new on the roads. Despite this, however, teens tend to make some costly mistakes while driving, whether it’s because they want to show off, multitask, or feel overly confident in their driving skills.
Accordingly, some of the most common factors that typically result in deadly crashes for teen drivers are:
- Distractions: Distracted driving is a common threat to people of all ages. In 2019, 3,142 people died in crashes involving distracted drivers, demonstrating the pervasiveness of this habit. Texting and driving is a leading example of distracted driving, and teens are no strangers to this risky driving habit. But distracted driving takes on many other forms, such as:
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Using a GPS system
- Changing stations on the radio
- Watching videos
- Not wearing a seat belt: Wearing a seat belt is undeniably one of the most fundamental factors of road safety. The national seatbelt use rate in 2020 was 90.3%, and seat belt use saved about 14,955 lives in 2017. It’s clear that many Americans know the life-saving value of seat belts, yet teen drivers do not report using them as much as they should. How dangerous is not wearing a seat belt, exactly? Of the 22,215 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2019, 47% were not wearing seat belts. That is astounding.
- Speeding: A common traffic violation by teens and drivers of all ages, for that matter, is speeding. Factors such as traffic, tight schedules, and a blatant disregard for other people tend to drive speeding. Unfortunately, speeding is one of the leading causes of crashes in New York and throughout the US. It has been a factor in about 1/3 of all motor vehicle deaths, and, more recently, it resulted in 9,378 deaths in 2018. Reasons behind speeding-related deaths include:
- Greater potential for loss of vehicle control
- Reduced effectiveness of occupant protection equipment
- Shorter stopping distance after the driver perceives a danger
- Increased degree of crash severity leading to more severe injuries
With all these deadly factors in mind, our traffic ticket lawyer encourages you to exercise heightened caution on the roads, especially during the next few months. Deadly driving habits tend to increase during this time of year, according to AAA, which could put you and your family’s lives at risk. For this reason, we urge you to be safe rather than sorry. Take a look at some safe driving tips below for good measure:
- Drive defensively
- Wear a seat belt at all times
- Contain road rage and avoid aggressive driving
- Pull off the road before eating and drinking, reading text messages, returning calls, checking social media, sending emails, etc.
- Ask passengers for assistance if help is needed while driving
- Drive at the posted speed limit
- Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you
- Check blind spots when changing lanes or reversing the vehicle
- Use turn signals when changing lanes
- Never drive while intoxicated and/or impaired
Your Peace of Mind Starts Here
In our years of experience fighting traffic tickets, we have seen the devastating consequences of dangerous driving. Traffic tickets are bad enough, but injuries and deaths are clearly worse. Since teens are most vulnerable to getting into fatal crashes from now until Labor Day, parents should focus on setting a good example behind the wheel and consider enrolling their teens in additional driving courses for safe measure.
However, we also know that everyone makes mistakes, especially teen drivers who are new on the roads. We also believe in second chances, which is why we will fight tooth and nail to get your ticket resolved as soon as possible. At the least, tickets can be inconvenient and expensive. At most, however, they can take away your driving privileges and much more.
Don’t let this happen to you or your loved one. Fight your ticket with the help of a former traffic court judge like our attorney. To get started, reach out to us online or at (212) 235-1525!