Car Crashes Leading Cause of Death for U.S. Teens

Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2015, 2,333 teens between the ages of 16-19 were killed in motor vehicle crashes, and in 2014, there were 221,313 teens treated in emergency rooms for car accident injuries. Teen motorists are three times more likely than older drivers to be involved in fatal crashes.

In fact, researchers say that the two most dangerous years of a person’s life is between the ages of 16 and 17, and that’s because of driving.

Specific factors that put teen drivers at risk include:

  • Teens don’t always recognize hazardous situations and are more likely than older drivers to underestimate such hazards. For that reason they are more likely to make bad decisions that lead to crashes. For example, teen motorists might not adapt their speed to bad weather conditions.
  • Teen motorists are more likely to tailgate (to follow the vehicle in front of them too closely) and drive faster than the speed limit.
  • Teens also have the lowest rate of seatbelt use. Studies show that seatbelt use saves lives.
  • Impaired teen motorists (those driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol) are more likely than older impaired drivers to be involved in a car accident. However, that does not mean that older motorists can safely drive while under the influence. Impaired driving is dangerous, no matter your age.

Driving with friends, late-night driving and smartphone use are also major factors.

Accidents Involving Teen Drivers

In July 2017, a teen motorist was struck by another driver when the teen drove through an intersection in St. Landry Parish without stopping at a stop sign. The teen’s pickup truck overturned and a 17-year-old passenger, who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, was killed. The teen driver and two other young passengers were all wearing seatbelts and sustained minor to moderate injuries. The other driver was not injured.

In March 2017, a teenage motorist driving 136 miles per hour in a 45-mph zone crashed into the welcome sign in Abita Springs. The 19-year-old also drove the wrong way in a traffic circle before crashing into the sign. Police cited him for speeding and careless driving. Luckily no other cars were involved in the incident.

In February 2017, a 17-year-old motorist died when his car went off the road, hit a culvert and flipped in Pointe Coupee Parish. Police say that the teen was not wearing a seatbelt, and that he was likely impaired by alcohol or drugs. The teen’s two passengers were taken to the hospital with serious injuries. It was a single-car incident.

Contact Us Today

Contact Patrick Yancey Law Firm today for a free consultation if you or a loved one have been injured or killed by a teen driver, or if your teen driver has been injured or killed in an accident. We will help you recover compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.