Inexperienced drivers are prone to causing serious and fatal car accidents.
"Teen drivers are more likely to underestimate or not recognize dangerous situations, leading them to make critical errors that lead to fatal crashes," said auto insurance expert Divya Sangameshwar, who helped write the recent ValuePenguin study.
How common are teen driving accidents?
Car accident statistics tell a complex story when it comes to collisions caused by teen drivers. On one hand, crashes caused by drivers ages 16 to 19 have decreased by 6.4 percent since 2011, according to the ValuePenguin study and based on national crash data.
However, teen driver-related accidents have become increasingly common in recent years. In particular, in 2020, teen driver deaths increased by 14.3 percent to 1,400 deaths compared to 1,225 deaths in 2019, according to ValuePenguin.
In the study, Maine was ranked the 11th most dangerous state in the nation for fatal car crashes caused by drivers ages 16 to 19. Between 2011 and 2020, teen drivers in Maine caused 2.25 deaths for every 10,000 teen drivers in the state during this period, according to ValuePenguin. During those 10 years, there were 33,336 licensed teen drivers in Maine, according to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
What is the biggest cause of teen crashes?
Traffic safety experts have identified several common causes of car crashes caused by teen drivers, including:
- Speeding – 44.4 percent of car crashes caused by teen drivers involved speeding.
- Drunk Driving – 23 percent of fatal teen car accidents involve a teenage driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher.
- Distracted Driving – Teen drivers are 2.5 times more likely not to pay attention and cause a distracted driving accident due to another teen in the vehicle, according to the NHTSA.
- Inexperience – Younger drivers lack the experience to safely judge many of the risks they face on the road, often resulting in serious car accidents.
- Summer Driving – Even though the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is only 100 days long, nearly 50 percent of all teen driving accident fatalities occur during these summer months, according to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
According to road safety experts, parents should take a proactive approach when discussing the dangers of driving with their teens and set a good example by demonstrating safe driving habits of their own. This includes following traffic rules, wearing seat belts, maintaining a safe speed, avoiding distractions like texting or talking on the phone, and refraining from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Parents can also consider implementing practical measures to reinforce the importance of safe driving. For instance, they can establish clear rules and expectations for their teen's behavior on the road, such as limiting the number of passengers or setting a curfew.
At the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein, we help educate teenagers on the dangers of distracted driving through our annual Arrive Alive Creative Contest. Now in its 20th year, the contest is open to high school seniors throughout Maine who may enter a creative project of their choice that sends a message to their peers about the dangers of drinking and driving and/or distracted driving.
First-place winners receive a new laptop computer, second and third-place winners receive a new iPad, and everyone who enters the contest wins fun prizes from our law firm. In the past 19 years, the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein has given away over $180,000 in prizes to graduating high school seniors who have helped educate their peers on safe driving practices.
When to call a car accident lawyer
If you're in Maine and you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash, navigating the next steps can be overwhelming. It's crucial to have a clear understanding of your rights and the legal options available to you during this difficult time.
That's why it's essential to reach out to an experienced Maine car accident attorney as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein, we understand the urgency of the situation and are ready to help. Whether it involves pursuing financial compensation through an injury claim or filing a lawsuit, we are here to advocate for your rights and fight for the financial compensation you deserve.
Choose a Maine law firm that has consistently delivered results to Mainers since 1974. We have seven offices located throughout Maine, and we offer legal representation on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay no fees unless we secure a financial settlement or verdict on your behalf. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.