Summer means more teen drivers and motor vehicle accident risk

Indiana teens will inevitably look forward to the summer when they can drive from one place to another. However, there are inherent risks with teen drivers as they generally lack the experience and understanding of what it takes to be safe on the road. Statistically, the time from Memorial Day to Labor Day is considered the riskiest for teen drivers and has sparked the designation of "100 Deadliest Days." For those who are on the road with young drivers, it is important to understand the increased danger.

According to AAA, the past five years have been particularly deadly for people on the road in the 100 Deadliest Days. Almost 3,500 people have lost their lives in accidents with teen drivers. National statistics say that 260 teens lose their lives in accidents for every month of the summer. That is a rise of 26 percent from the months in the rest of the year. Research indicates that most fatal accidents stem from distracted drivers.

Other dangers arise from teens exceeding the speed limit. This is a factor in around one in three fatal accidents in which a teen is involved. The data from 2013 to 2017 shows the following percentages for a fatal accident involving a teen driver: 28 percent involved speeding; 17 percent involved driving under the influence of alcohol; and nine percent involved distracted driving. In that last five years, there were nearly 700 fatalities in the 100 Deadliest Days per year. Teen-involved accidents caused an average of up to 17 percent more fatalities when compared to other times of the year.

Indiana has certain rules for the first six months in which a teen driver has his or her license like not being allowed to have a passenger who is younger than 25. This is done because statistics show that teen drivers who have only other teens riding with them have a fatality rate that is increased by more than half. If they have passengers 35 and older, it reduces by 8 percent.

Teaching proper safety is a critical part of keeping teens from making mistakes that result in a motor vehicle accident with serious injuries and wrongful death. Still, their lack of road wisdom and a sense of invincibility contribute to failures in driver safety and leads to summer accidents. For people who have been involved in a crash with a teen driver, it is imperative to understand how to move forward with a legal filing for compensation to cover for medical expenses, lost wages and the aftermath of losing a loved one. A law firm experienced in these cases can help.

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