What Is the Leading Cause of Death for Teenage Drivers?
The leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States is car accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Several factors contribute to the hazards of teenage accident deaths, which we’ll cover below.
If a teen driver caused your accident or another driver killed your teen in an accident, we can connect you with an experienced and compassionate lawyer at no cost. To get a FREE consultation, call (214) 305-8277 or reach out online today.
Leading Causes of Teen Driving Accidents
Teenage drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are almost three times more likely to be in a deadly accident than drivers above the age of 19, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Teen driving accidents are preventable, but how? We must look at the leading risk factors for teen driving accidents, severe injuries, and deaths.
Drinking and Driving
Further data from the CDC has shown the following for teenage drivers and alcohol use:
- Even a small amount of alcohol consumption increases the risk of teen driving accidents compared to older drivers.
- In 2017, 15% of teenage drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 who were in deadly accidents had 0.08% or higher blood alcohol content (BAC).
- In 2017, a survey showed that within the last month, 16.5% of teenagers in high school rode with a driver who had been drinking.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is risky for any driver, but it’s especially dangerous for teenage drivers. The combination of alcohol use and inexperience can cause accidents that injure or kill those involved.
Lack of Experience
Teenage drivers have less experience than adult drivers, so they are more likely to make careless mistakes on the road and cause unfortunate accidents.
Driving at Night or on Weekends
In 2017, around 40% of teen driving deaths happened between 9 pm and 6 am. In the same year, just over half of teen accident deaths occurred on weekend days.
Teenagers are more likely to engage in reckless behavior during the late and weekend hours. If a teen is driving while drinking, distracted, or inattentive to the road, they put everyone on the road at risk.
31% of male teen drivers involved in deadly accidents were speeding when the accident happened.
Since teenagers are less experienced and tend to be more reckless than other drivers, they are more likely to exceed the speed limits and increase the risk of an accident.
Not Wearing Seat Belts
Teenagers tend to have the lowest rates of seat belt use compared to other driver groups. Nearly half of the teen drivers between age 15 and 20 who died in accidents in 2017 were not wearing seat belts.
Teenage Drivers Who Are Most at Risk for Accidents
Although teens are, on average, more likely to cause and be killed in fatal accidents, certain groups of teens are most involved in deadly accidents.
Ages 16 Through 19
Teen drivers within this age group are almost three times more likely to be in a deadly crash than drivers above the age of 19.
Male teenage drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 had a death rate more than two times that of female drivers of the same ages.
Teens are most likely to get into accidents during their first few months of having a driver’s license.
Other Teen Passengers
When a teen driver has passengers who are also teenagers, their accident risk goes up. The increased risk is likely caused by higher distraction rates and the propensity for reckless behavior while with friends.
In 2017, around 300,000 U.S. teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 went to an emergency room for auto accident injuries. That same year, 2,364 teen drivers in the same age range died in accidents. Although teen drivers make up a relatively small portion of the U.S. population, they represent a disproportionately high rate of car accident injuries.
What to Do After a Teen Driving Accident
After a severe teenage driving accident, there are some things you should do. Here are some ways you can protect your legal rights after the crash.
After a fatal accident, someone involved in the accident should call the police and render aid to anyone who needs it. If the accident caused life-threatening injuries, call for an ambulance so that injured parties get emergency treatment at the scene.
If another driver caused your accident, you will want to document the scene as it was right after the crash. If you are well enough to do so, take pictures of:
- Your injuries
- Your vehicle damage
- The entire accident scene
Talk to Witnesses
If anyone else saw the accident happen, talk to them and ask what they saw. Ask for the witness’s full name and contact information so you or your lawyer can get a statement from them.
If a teenage driver caused your accident, an eyewitness might be able to provide information about the teen’s negligent behavior.
Talk to a Teen Driving Accident Lawyer
Fatal accidents are tragic and overwhelming for everyone involved. You should not have to deal with the legal side of things on your own. If the other driver caused the crash, contact a teen driving accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Your lawyer can help you gather information from the accident, show the at-fault driver’s negligence, deal with the insurance company, and handle your insurance claim. If the other driver caused your accident, you are likely entitled to compensation for your damages.
Talk to an Experienced Teen Driving Accident Lawyer for Free Today
Our car accident lawyers know how to handle the delicate nature of teen driving accidents, especially if they are fatal. We can connect you with the most compassionate, experienced, and knowledgeable attorney for your case needs.
You don’t pay a fee unless we win you money, so there is no risk to get started. Plus, the consultation is always 100% FREE. To get started with your FREE consultation, call us at (214) 305-8277 or contact us online today.