Teen and Young Drivers
Seven teenagers were injured when the car in which they were traveling slid off the road and struck a pillar on the Interstate 5 in Pierce County. King5.com reports that a 16-year-old Olympia girl was driving a Volkswagen Jetta south on the freeway just near Center Drive when she hit the brakes and slid into the grass section. The car then hit a pillar broadside, causing the engine to separate from the vehicle and land in the road. Six of the teens were transported to area hospitals. Officials said the crash was caused by driver inattention and that the teen driver could face a negligent driving charge.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2010, about 2,070 teens in the United States aged 16 to 19 were killed and almost 282,000 were treated and released from emergency departments for injuries suffered in auto accidents. Young people between the ages of 15 and 24 represent only 14 percent of the nation’s population. However, they account for 30 percent of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among males and 28 percent of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among females. Read the rest »
Learning to drive is a major rite of passage into adulthood for many Washington teens, but it also increases their risk of suffering injury in a car accident. Because teens lack experience behind the wheel, they are more likely to make the wrong choice in a split-second emergency decision, increasing their accident risk.
Parents can help their teens get driving experience in a safe way and reduce the risk of car accidents by implementing a few simple tips.
- Increase experience. Because experience is key to safe driving, you may wish to extend your teen’s supervised driving time beyond the hours required by Washington’s graduated driver program. Added hours of nighttime driving and driving in bad weather can also help your teen practice important safe-driving skills. Read the rest »
Parents can help teenagers gain needed experience and improve safety by driving with them regularly, especially while they are driving on a learner’s permit or a graduated license. Another useful tool in helping keep kids safe on the road is a parent-teen driving agreement. Read the rest »
When a semi truck collides with a passenger vehicle, the results are almost always worse for those in the car. Teens stand a particular risk of a semi accident because they often lack the experience to recognize or predict a truck’s movements, according to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Association (CVSA). Here are some tips to help teens and older drivers protect themselves when sharing the road with trucks this summer.
- Bigger vehicles move differently. Whether it’s a semi truck, box truck, passenger bus, or other vehicle, larger vehicles need more room to stop, turn, and accelerate.
- Trucks need twice the room to stop. A passenger vehicle going 55 miles per hour needs about 225 feet to stop under ideal conditions, once its driver sees a hazard. A fully-loaded semi truck needs over 430 feet to make the same stop. Read the rest »
The risk of a 16- or 17-year-old driver suffering a car accident increases with each passenger under age 20 that the driver transports in his or her vehicle, according to a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
The study examined accidents in which a young driver had no passengers, one or more passengers under age 20, and one passenger 35 or older. Compared to having zero passengers, 16- or 17-year-olds behind the wheel had a 44% increased chance of crashing if they had one passenger under 20. Read the rest »
In February of 2010, 19 year old Heather was killed instantly one month after her birthday, as her car left the roadway south of Tumwater, struck a guardrail and tumbled into a ditch. She was texting a friend in the minutes before the crash. Again in February of this year, a two-year old female passenger was injured during a collision in Thurston County when the 29-year old driver left the roadway, drove into the shoulder and struck a parked pick up head on. This driver was also texting.
These unfortunate drivers were not alone, even with the texting and driving laws, thousands of people are injured or killed every year while texting or being otherwise distracted. That’s why it’s good to remind ourselves and our teenage drivers that when you’re in the car – keep your hands off the phone. Remember, if you’re driving on the freeway, you can travel more than the length of a football field in the time it takes to simply read a short text message or dial a number. Read the rest »
Hardwick and Pendergast, a Washington car accident law firm, points out that motor vehicle crashes is one of the leading causes of death among teens age 16-19 in the State, already causing the deaths of 27 teens this year. A total of 84 teens died in 2008 and 2009 from traffic crashes. During 2009, 16-19 year-olds accounted for 4.2% of all licensed drivers, but 9.1% of all drivers in fatal crashes in Washington.
Here are some of the many ways parents can help their teens become safer drivers: Read the rest »