Fatal teen auto accidents have spiked almost 10 percent since 2014, according to a recent study by the American Automobile Association (AAA). Through interviews with driving instructors, AAA found that speeding, distracted driving and poor visualization of the roadway were the top mistakes teen drivers make while driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), within the last five years, there were 14,000 fatal accidents involving teenagers. The data shows that the number of teen driving fatalities had decreased every year since 2005, until 2015 when the number of deaths began to rise.
The NHTSA says that teens are 1.6 times more likely to be involved in a fatal auto accident than adults. Although teenagers are often involved in accidents involving fatalities, the majority of deaths from those accidents involve others present during the incident.
The AAA report concludes that more work must be done to lower fatal teen crashes and the number of resulting deaths. Consultants say three-stage licensing programs in place across the country are estimated to reduce traffic accidents involving teenagers by 30 percent.
While the licensing programs end when drivers turn 18-years-old, the maturity level found in most of those surveyed still does not equal the cognitive abilities that an experienced adult driver may have. AAA believes that this inexperience, combined with poor behavior behind the wheel, has caused the increasing death toll.
The survey found that the risk for death actually increases with age among teens. During the 10-year period that AAA used to conduct its survey, 39 15-year-olds were killed compared to 472 19-year-olds.
Parents are encouraged to educate their children on safe driving habits, which AAA believes will help decrease the number of accidents involving teenagers. Surveyors found that teens use their parents as examples on how to conduct themselves behind the wheel, which carries over to when they begin driving on their own.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The Sacramento car accident attorneys at the Arnold Law Firm will offer you a free review of your claim to see if you have a case.