While teens may be excited about the newfound independence that accompanies a driver’s license, parents in Los Angeles have a right to be concerned about their child’s safety. Car accidents are a leading cause of teenage deaths in the United States. Statistics show that new teen drivers are three times as likely as adults to be in a fatal car accident. In fact, the first 100 days after a teen gets their driver’s license are the most dangerous.
The best way to keep your teen safe and prevent them from being in a life-changing accident is to understand why so many teens are involved in accidents. With this information in hand, you can discuss safe driving practices with your teen and help them navigate Los Angeles roads safely.
Getting behind the wheel can be empowering. Unfortunately, simply passing a standard driving test does not mean that new teen drivers have the skills necessary to navigate the roads safely. It takes time to learn how to deal with traffic, aggressive drivers, unexpected weather, and dangerous road conditions. Speeding while behind the wheel can only make tough situations more difficult.
In 2016, speeding was a factor in 32 percent of all fatal teen car accidents in the United States. Speed limits are posted for a reason, often to ensure that cars can safely navigate difficult turns or to make sure that many cars can safely occupy a narrow strip of land simultaneously. Teens who do not obey the speed limit are not only more likely to cause an accident, but also more likely to suffer a serious injury or die in the crash.
Texting and Driving
It’s hard to pry a cell phone out of a teen’s hand. However, it is crucial to impress upon your teen the importance of putting down the phone when they’re behind the wheel. Checking social media, taking selfies, or texting with friends can wait. If teens do this while behind the wheel, they may never have the opportunity to do these things again.
Research shows that texting and driving increase the chances of being involved in an accident by 23 percent. In fact, it may be surprising to learn that texting and driving are 5 times more dangerous than drinking and driving. Unfortunately, most teens are not putting their phones down when they’re driving. One study found that more than half of teens admit to talking on the phone while driving, while one-fifth of all teens text and drive.
It may be comforting to know that 62 percent of teens said that a simple reminder from their parents not to text and drive is helpful.
Drinking and Driving
Many teens often begin to experiment with drugs and alcohol during their teenage years. When this coincides with getting a driver’s license, the consequences can be deadly. The CDC reports that one in 10 high school students drinks and drivers. It may not be surprising to learn, then, that one out of every 5 teens killed in a car accident was driving while drunk.
Since teens are still growing and maturing, they lack the ability to metabolize alcohol properly. While it is much more likely for teens to be in an accident when their blood alcohol concentration exceeds the legal limit of .08 percent, studies show that any amount of alcohol in their system can increase the likelihood of a fatal crash.
Ignoring License Restrictions
When teens get their driver’s license in California, they are subject to certain restrictions. California law imposes these limitations to help new drivers become accustomed to driving in a semi-controlled environment. Teens driving with a provisional license are prohibited from driving:
- On the road between certain hours, and
- With other teen passengers in the car.
Studies show that keeping other teens and passengers out of the car can be one of the best ways to ensure that teens drive safely. When other kids are in the car, teen drivers may be more inclined to speed, show off, and try to impress their friends. Other passengers will also be a distraction that can prove to be deadly.
Teens who ignore the restrictions placed on their driving privileges are more likely to be involved in an accident. In addition to causing a serious accident, teens can also face losing their license for this lapse in judgment.
Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys
Car accidents involving teen drivers can have devastating consequences. If you or someone you know has been injured in a Los Angeles crash, do not hesitate to contact Glotzer & Leib, LLP for help. Our experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney can help you to understand your legal rights. We offer a free case evaluation, so do not hesitate to call us now.