The 16-year-old’s car went off the road and struck several trees. A 14-year-old passenger was also injured. The death of a child is always a tragedy. Unfortunately, as school lets out on the long, hot summer ahead, teenagers are at high risk for being involved in serious or fatal car accidents. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 20, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The Carolina injury lawyers at Lee & Smith urge parents to spend some time talking to their teenagers about the importance of safe driving.
About 1 in every 6 fatal car accidents involves a teenager. In 2008, a total of 5,864 motorists between the ages of 15 and 20 were involved in fatal car accidents –2,739 teenagers were killed and more than 228,000 were seriously injured.
North Carolina accidents involving teenagers killed 98 drivers and 80 passengers in 2008. In South Carolina, teenage car accidents killed 71 young drivers and 38 passengers.
Inexperience, immaturity, speeding, drinking and driving, not wearing seat belts, distracted driving and night driving are among the primary causes of teen driving fatalities.
The federal government’s teen driving website offers parents and teens a wealth of resources to begin the discussion regarding safe driving.
Suggestions for reducing the chances of a teen driving accident include:
-Absolutely no alcohol.
-Seat belt use.
-No cell phones, or text messaging while driving.
-No more than one passenger at a time.
-Active parental involvement in establishing clear rules and consequences.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s distracted driving website is also raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving among teenagers. Young, inexperienced drivers under 20 have the highest rate of distracted-driving fatalities — 16 percent of all fatal car accidents involving teenagers are caused by distracted driving.
If you or a family member has been involved in an accident involving a teenager, contact the Carolina injury attorneys at Lee & Smith today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965.