Every teenager anticipates the freedom that comes with a driver’s license. While young drivers may be thrilled to get behind the wheel, they do not always take into consideration the risks and responsibilities of controlling a vehicle. Unfortunately, the number of risks faced by teens, combined with inexperience, results in thousands of accidents, injuries, and fatalities every year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently released 2013 statistics on the number of young Americans injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents.
Accident cases are complex and can be caused by a number of different factors. Distracted driving, alcohol crashes, speeding, drag racing, and inexperience may pose a risk to teen drivers and their passengers. Our Charlotte car accident attorneys are dedicated to representing the young victims and families whose lives have been impacted by motor vehicle accidents.
In 2011, there were 1,987 young drivers, aged 15 to 20 who were killed in motor vehicle accidents. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for all 15 to 20 year olds. While any accident can pose a risk to young drivers, motorcyclists and their passengers are at an even greater risk of injury and fatality. During 2011, there were 205 young riders who were killed and another 5,000 who suffered injury in a motorcycle accident. According to reports, helmets are only 37-percent effective in preventing fatalities among riders; however, it is estimated that helmets saved the lives of 1,617 motorcyclists in 2011. Of the young motorcycle riders in the United States who were involved in fatal accidents, 38 percent were either unlicensed or were riding a motorcycle with an invalid license.
In addition to alcohol-related accidents, distracted driving is also a risk for many teens. Given the evolving capabilities of handheld devices, teens are now able to check Facebook, surf the web, text, and chat with their friends from their Smartphone. Every year, thousands of accidents, injuries and deaths are caused by distracted driving. Many states are increasing the penalties for violation of cell phone laws and holding drivers criminally liable in the event of injury or fatalities.
For many teens, vehicles mean freedom. This can also create opportunities for partying, including the use of drugs or alcohol. Many teens are the victims of drunk-driving accidents. Even though every state in America has a minimum drinking age of 21, drivers and passengers between the ages of 15 and 20 are still at risk. In 2011, 32 percent of the young drivers who were killed in accidents had a blood alcohol concentration of .01 or higher. Twenty-six percent had a BAC of.08 or higher.
There are a number of new laws aiming to protect young drivers. Restricted licensing places limitations on drivers to reduce the risk of accidents and injury. In some states, teens are not able to drive with friends, drive at night, or to use cell phones when behind the wheel. Graduated licensing programs ensure that young drivers have the proper training and experience before they start taking on additional risks.
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact the Charlotte injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.
More Blog Entries:
Teen Car Accidents in Spartanburg and Elsewhere Expected to Rise, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, June 13, 2012
Drunk Driving Car Accidents in Asheville and Elsewhere a Summer Risk, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, June 11, 2012