Our Personal Injury Lawyers in Portland and Bangor understand the high risk teenagers face each time they get behind the wheel. ThesNational Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports car accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers ages 15 to 20.
In 2008, 6,428 motorists were killed in car accidents involving teen drivers, according to the U. . Department of Transportation. Maine car accidents involving teens claimed 19 lives. Teens are at high risk for virtually every poor driving decision in the book, including speeding, drunk driving, failure to wear a seat belt, distracted driving and riding with too many passengers in the vehicle.
But, as a recent report in Health News Digest points out, too often the emphasis is on teen as victim, which may ignore the true victims of such accidents.
Nationwide, 1,518 victims of teenage car accidents were riding in another vehicle that was involved in a crash with a teen driver. Another 517 were defined as non-occupants, which usually means a bicyclist or pedestrian.
“When most people think about those affected by teen driver crashes, they think of the teens behind the wheel. We must also consider the significant impact of these crashes on other members of our communities: occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, and other road-users,” says Dr. Dennis Durbin, a co-author of the report. “Whether or not we have a teen driver in our family, we should all care about this issue. This report provides a concrete way to measure the effectiveness of laws, education, and other programs in reducing teen crashes and their impact on communities.”
The report by State Farm Insurance and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found more than 681,000 crashes involve a teenage driver.
“Reducing speeding and alcohol use, increasing seat belt use, and eliminating distractions for teen drivers are the four calls-to-action we see in this report that would have great impact on reducing injuries and fatalities for all road users,” says Dr. Durbin, who is also an emergency physician. “More than half of teens who were fatally injured in crashes were speeding, 40 percent had a positive blood alcohol level, more than half were not wearing seat belts, and 16 percent of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving.”
We encourage you to take a proactive approach when it comes to keeping your teenagers safe behind the wheel. Have regular conversations about the importance of making good driving decisions.
If you or a loved one has been in a Maine car accident, contact the Portland personal injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-804-2004.