Teenagers are less likely to drive than adults. However, teenagers are more likely to get killed in traffic crashes than adults. In fact, in the United States, the fatal crash rate per mile driven for teenagers aged 16 to 19 is nearly 3 times as that of drivers aged 20 and over. Teens aged 16 to 17 have a high crash rate per mile driven that is twice as high as that of teens aged 18 to 19.
Statistics from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation showed that 3,155 teens aged 13 to 19 were killed in vehicle crashes in 2010. Though it is 10 percent fewer than the records in 2009, it accounted to 10 percent of all recorded traffic deaths, which amounted to 32,885.
Immaturity and lack of driving experience are the primary reasons why teenagers die in traffic crashes. What makes teenagers vulnerable to such horrible mishaps is the fact that they engage in activities that they usually do to complement their driving. Here are some of the known distracted driving activities that teenage drivers and passengers do:
- Horsing around inside the car. Teens are known to drive in carpools, and given their attitude and loses his or her focus with his or her driving in this situation, which may lead to an accident.
- Using a cell phone while driving. Teens cannot live a single day without their smartphones and related gadgets. Talking or texting using such devices while behind the wheel can spell disaster, as doing so diverts the driver’s attention from the road.
- Eating food while driving. Eating hand-picked foods is dangerous, much more eating food with the use of a spoon and/or fork while driving is not a good thing to do.
- Playing loud music inside the vehicle. Some teens like to play songs in their cars way too loud. This poses a risk for teenage drivers as they are unable to hear sounds from the outside, particularly those from beeping vehicles.
A teenage driver and his or her family can be entitled to file a claim if the accident is caused by another motorist’s negligence. He or she can retain the services of a Los Angeles accident attorney to further establish a claim.