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The 3 Leading Factors in Teen Driving Accidents

Fairfield County auto accident attorneyWe may be nearing the end of the summer, but the 100 Deadliest Days for teen drivers is still in full swing in Fairfield County. This is the time of year when fatal crashes involving teens is at its highest, and it runs over the summer until the next school year begins.

Over the past five years, roughly 700 people have died each year due to crashes involving teens. What's more shocking, fatal crashes involving teens ages 15-18 were 17 percent higher each day during the 100 Deadliest Days than any other time of year.

Understanding what drives fatal teen crashes is a critical step in preventing them. That's why the American Automobile Association (AAA) recently scrutinized three driving habits that are likely to cause fatal teen crashes. These include speeding, distracted driving, and drunk driving.

Prevalence of speeding in fatal teen crashes

Among the three driving habits, speeding was found to be the most prevalent - accounting for 28 percent of all fatal crashes involving teens.

Survey results from AAA’s 2017 Traffic Safety Culture Index conclude that nearly 50 percent of teen drivers have driven too fast on a residential street within the past 30 days. In addition, nearly 40 percent exceeded the posted speed limit on a freeway.

Distraction, a factor in more than half of teen crashes

Distracted driving is a significant risk among all age groups, especially when other risky habits are involved. AAA research concluded that distracted driving is a factor in nine percent of fatal crashes involving teens. Additionally, more than 50 percent of teen drivers surveyed in the Traffic Safety Culture Index admitted to reading a text and email messages within the past month, and 40 percent admitted to sending texts and emails.

In another study, AAA collected data involving teen driver crashes through in-vehicle dash-cam footage. That study found that distracted driving was the culprit behind 58 percent of teen driver crashes.

Underage drinking and impaired driving

Despite not being old enough to purchase alcohol, some teens are driving drunk. In fact, nine percent of all fatal crashes involving teens involve alcohol, with one in six teen drivers having alcohol in their system at the time of a fatal crash.

In 2015, more than 7 million teens ages 12-20 admitted to consuming more than "just a few sips" of alcohol within the last 30 days, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. In addition, 60 percent of teens between ages 15-18 have had at least one drink. This is the age range in which most teens begin driving.

Prevent teen crashes by getting involved

After teens complete driver's education and get their licenses, they still have much to learn. Learning how to navigate different roadways and use good judgment takes years of driving experience. That's why during this period, it's critical that parents get involved.

AAA offers some tips on how you can help your teen develop safe driving habits:

  • Discuss the dangers of speeding, distraction, and drunk driving before your teen begins driving.
  • Lead by example by not engaging in risky driving habits.
  • Establish a driving agreement between you and your teen and set rules.

For more tips on how to stay safe during the 100 Deadliest Days, and the rest of the year, parents and teen drivers are urged to visit

If you or a loved one were hurt in a crash, get an experienced Fairfield County car accident attorney on your side. The legal team at Vishno Law Firm will advocate for you and fight to hold negligent drivers accountable. Contact us today to learn more.

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