Robert L. Sears, Accepting cases throughout WA State 253-286-7444 rob@searsinjurylaw.com

Car Accident Lawyer

We hear in the news all the time about teenagers being involved in tragic car accidents. It’s possible that you know a teenager personally that was in a car accident. But what are the actual statistics behind teen drivers? Are they really more likely to get into accidents? This article will go over the data so that you can understand it for yourself. 

The sad fact of the matter is that auto accidents are the top cause of death and disability for teenagers in America. Teenagers are more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as not wearing their seatbelt, following too closely, speeding, and distracted driving. Furthermore, they are less experienced than other drivers and don’t have the skills or confidence to navigate complicated or stressful scenarios on the road. The only way to gain experience, however, is through practice. 

Drivers in their late teens are about three times more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident than older drivers. For this age group, they are the most at risk of getting into an accident. About 3,000 teenagers die every year in car accidents, and 2/3rds of these fatalities are males. Most serious crashes with teen drivers can be pinned on critical errors such as: driving too fast for the road conditions, being distracted, and failing to properly detect and respond to hazards. 

More specifically, around 28 percent of fatal accidents with teen drivers involved speeding. As mentioned before, teenagers are more likely to engage in risky behaviors on the road. About 40 percent of teenagers have emailed or texted while they were on the road, and about the same percentage don’t always wear their seatbelt. 17 percent of high schoolers have said that they have ridden with a drunk driver. About 16 percent of drivers in fatal accidents in the 15-18 years old age bracket had been drinking. 

Even if you are the safest driver in the world, there is a certain level of risk that comes along with getting on the road. The most dangerous states for drivers in their teenage years are Michigan, Colorado, Florida, Rhode Island, and Louisiana. Teen driving data from places such as the FBI, Census Bureau, average teen insurance rates, and NHTSA was carefully analyzed by The Zebra to determine which states are the most dangerous for teen drivers. 

Car Accident By Teenager

Car Accident Law Firm

Thankfully, Washington is not one of the top states for auto accidents involving teenage drivers. The most dangerous state overall for teen drivers was found to be Michigan, which also has high insurance premiums for teenagers ($583 a month on average), accident fatality rates, and driving under the influence rates. Michigan also allows kids to begin driving at 14, which may be a factor in these statistics. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Hawaii is the safest state in America for teenage drivers. 

The second most dangerous state for teenage drivers is Rhode Island. You would think that with the state’s strict requirements for teenagers when it comes to operating vehicles, that it would be safer. Rhode Island teens have to be at least seventeen and a half years old, have a provisional license for at least a year, and not have gotten a seatbelt or moving violation in the last half year in order to get a full license. Although Rhode Island has a licensing process with multiple stages so that teens have a longer time to learn how to drive, the state still has the highest insurance premium rates for teenagers in the country ($713 per month on average). 

Louisiana is another state with high motor fatality rates among teenagers. Only 87.5 percent of people in Louisiana wear their seatbelt while in the car, according to a National Highway Safety Administration survey. This may be a factor in the amount of car accidents in the state that result in death. Colorado is the fourth most dangerous state for teenage drivers. For their first year, new drivers have a driving curfew, which means that they can’t drive between midnight and five in the morning, unless they have a driving instructor or guardian with them. Despite this curfew, Colorado has one of the highest teen DUI rates. 

The fifth most dangerous state overall for teenage drivers is Florida. Less than 90 percent of people in Florida wear their seatbelts. Florida doesn’t ban teen drivers from using their cell phones, despite the fact that distracted driving is a common cause of car accidents (especially among teens and young adults). Florida had the third highest number of teen fatalities in auto accidents in the country in 2018. California and Texas held the highest numbers, but it’s important to remember that those states also have a very large population. The highest rate of teenagers dying in auto accidents goes to Wyoming. Wyoming also has one of the lowest rates of wearing seatbelts in the country. 

One of the biggest causes of serious car accidents and accident fatalities is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Nationwide, the number of traffic fatalities related to drunk driving has been decreasing. Some reasons for this could be the implementation of sobriety checkpoints and drunk driving laws, the popularity of ridesharing apps, and increased education. However, the number has been going up in Washington. Because of this, there has been a push to lower the legal blood alcohol content limit in our state. 

Although Washington has higher DUI fatality rates, it isn’t one of the top states for teen DUI arrests. The ten states with the most teenage DUI arrests are: South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Wisconsin, Colorado, Utah, North Dakota, Alaska, and Vermont. It’s important that measures are taken to prevent underage drinking, which can lead to tragedies if the teenagers get on the road. 

Sears Injury Law represents people that were injured in car accidents caused by another party. We firmly believe that it’s important that people are educated, so that accidents can be prevented. Reach out to Sears Injury Law so that we can fight to get you compensation and justice. 

Car Accident Lawyer