Earning a driver’s license is a rite of passage for most teenagers. While a teenager’s newfound freedom on the road is an exciting and fun time in their life, it can also be extremely dangerous. Inexperienced teen drivers may have a sense of invincibility that comes with their age, making them more likely to contribute to fatal accidents on roads across Texas annually. According to a study by AAA, teenage drivers are responsible for the deaths of at least 68 people every year in Texas during a time period aptly named the “100 deadliest days.”
Why Teenage Drivers?
Texas’ 100 deadliest days refers to the time period from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Not only is it bookended between two largely celebrated holiday weekends, but the time period also covers many important events for teenagers. Summertime, graduation parties, and holiday weekends are popular events for teenagers – including those who recently received their driver’s licenses. This time of year is busy for teenagers on the road, and the increase in accidents involving drivers under the age of 21 reflects this. While many issues can be chalked up to typical teen driver inexperience, the specific problems causing fatal accidents during the 100 deadliest days signal a need for greater driver safety education for teenagers before they get behind the wheel.
Common Accidents Involving Teen Drivers
With young age comes a false sense of invincibility. It’s understandable that teenagers – who lack years of driving experience – view car keys as the keys to freedom rather than to a high powered machine that can inflict catastrophic injury and death. With further education and driver safety awareness, teenagers can better understand the dangers associated with the privilege of driving a vehicle.
Distracted driving is unfortunately a rampant problem among teen drivers. Distracted driving includes actions such as talking on the phone, texting, scrolling social media, changing the radio station, applying makeup, and maneuvering navigation apps, among others. According to the AAA Foundation Traffic Safety Culture Index, 35% of teen drivers (aged 16-18) surveyed admitted they texted while driving within the previous 30 days. Any time a driver diverts focus from the road, he or she is engaging in risky behavior – and, for teen drivers a simple text could be life altering.
Speeding is a common cause of motor vehicle accidents regardless of driver age. This being said, teenagers may be less familiar with controlling the speed of their vehicle as well as response timing if they need to suddenly stop. Speeding not only increases the chances of a young driver losing control of their vehicle, but it also increases the severity of the impact of a collision and thus the resulting injuries.
Driving while intoxicated is never safe or responsible. Regardless of age, a driver should never get behind the wheel of a vehicle if they have been drinking or are under the influence of any type of mind-altering substance, even if it’s prescribed. As teenagers tend to try underage drinking, unfortunately many intoxicated teenagers attempt to drive after they’ve been drinking. Driving while intoxicated is extremely dangerous not only for drivers, but also for all who share the road with them. Regardless of a driver’s experience behind the wheel, drinking prohibits their ability to control their vehicle, use proper judgment, obey traffic laws, and overall drive safely.
Lubbock Car Accident Attorneys
Teen drivers are understandably excited and eager to drive, but more can be done via driver’s education to truly teach young drivers that an accident can occur for a variety of reasons and at any time. During periods when school is out and more teenagers are hitting roads across Texas, they should take extra precautions to ensure safe roads.
The freedom that comes with driving also comes with great responsibility. Lubbock has unfortunately seen its fair share of fatal car accidents involving teenagers and young adults. These preventable accidents not only seriously injure or kill victims, but they can also completely alter the course of a teenager or young adult’s life. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a Lubbock car accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact us today to discuss your case at no cost. There is limited time to act following your accident in Texas, so don’t delay.