Teen Driver Fatalities on the Rise in NC

In 2011, there were close to 100 teenager drivers in the state of North Carolina who were killed in car accidents. According to recently-released statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these teenage car accidents are on the rise.
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Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for all 15- to 20-year-olds, and we need to do whatever we can to reduce the risks.

Our Asheville car accident lawyers understand that the first year a driver spends behind the wheel is the most dangerous year they’re going to spend on the road. It’s important that we launch our teen’s driving careers with safe and responsible habits, but it takes some time and work to get that achieved. Parents and guardians are the most influential people in a teen’s life, and that good, positive influence needs to happen as frequently as possible.

Nationwide, there were close to 4,500 teenagers involved in fatal accidents. If you break it down, 10 percent of all of the drivers who were involved in a fatal accident and close to 15 percent of all of the drivers who were involved in police-reported accidents were these young drivers. In 2011, there were close to 1,300,000 teenage drivers involved in police-reported accidents. And most of those accidents were preventable and were caused by driver inattention, carelessness and inexperience.

One of the most important factors to discuss with our young drivers is alcohol consumption. According to the NHTSA, about a third of all teens who were killed in a traffic accident had alcohol in their system. They may not be old enough to legally purchase it, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get their hands on it.

For teenage drivers, alcohol involvement is higher among males than among females. In 2011, close to 30 percent of the young male drivers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking at the time of the crash, compared with about 15 percent of the young female drivers involved in fatal accidents.

They’re to be safe regardless of how they’re getting around — even on motorcycles. During 2011, close to 219 young motorcycle riders (15- to 20-years-old) were killed, and another 5,000 were injured in traffic accidents.

These drivers are less likely to wear a seat belt, too. Make sure you’re talking with them about the importance of a seat belt. It can mean the different between life and death in the event of a collision.

In addition to talking with your teen and setting a safe driving example for them, it’s important that you’re riding along with them for supervised driving time often. This is important even when they’ve graduated from their learner’s permit and are allowed to drive without an adult in the vehicle. Make sure they know what is expected from them behind the wheel and they’re doing everything in their power to stay safe. Enact driving rules within your home and stick to them. Enforcement is half the battle when it comes to safety.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident, contact the Asheville injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:

Teen Drivers Face Highest Accident Risks on Carolina Roadways, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, April 21, 2013

Cell Phone Use Blamed in Fatal Ashville Traffic Collision, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, April 17, 2013

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