As a car accident attorney, I have often shared statistics about teen driver accidents. These young and inexperienced drivers are several times more likely to be involved in a car accident than older demographics, and sadly, many of these accidents are fatal. Let’s face it—driving in New Jersey can be a harrowing experience for adult drivers, but for teens, it can feel near impossible.
As summer approaches, it is important to note that the next several weeks will see a significant increase in accidents involving teen drivers. Increased free time during summer break—whether it is spent going to work or social events—means that there are more teen drivers on the road than usual, and it is important that parents of teen drivers are aware of the risk factors that lead to serious crashes.
What Is to Blame for Crashes Involving Teenaged Drivers?
Most parents assume that cell phone use is the most dangerous thing their teen can engage in while driving. Texting and other activities can cause accidents among every age group, but teens are especially “hooked” on their phones. While you and your teen should already have a strict “no phone while driving” policy, there is one risk factor in particular that you must be aware of this summer.
A recent article in the Washington Post noted that while teen driver fatalities have gone down in the last decade, the percentage of fatalities in one particular condition rose. Teens driving with two or more other teens in the car are nearly eight times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident. While New Jersey’s graduated driver licensing (GDL) system restricts passenger carriage by teens under the age of 18, it is not uncommon to see teenagers piled into a friend’s car.
The problem is not simply phones, friends, or food in the car—it is that young, inexperienced drivers are more prone to distractions and are more likely to engage in risky behavior—especially in front of their friends. Keep your teenaged driver safe this summer by pledging to eliminate distractions in the car, and help them gain important driving knowledge and experience with as little risk as possible.