Safety movement to reduce rate of teen deaths in CA car crashes

Car crashes remain the number one cause of death for teens ages 15 to 19. Teen drivers can pose a risk to themselves, their passengers and others on California roadways.

Motor vehicle accidents remain the number one cause of death for teens between the ages of 15 to 19. Various efforts have been made to decrease the risk of accidents for teens. Some recent examples include increased driving restrictions through the use of provisional driver's licenses during the early years of driving, regulations regarding Smartphone use and education programs. Unfortunately, according to the community affairs and traffic safety manager for a local American Automobile Association (AAA) in California, the problem with teen drivers getting into fatal accidents "is getting worse."

A recent article in The Orange County Register discussed the issue, noting 2,614 teenage drivers were killed in car crashes in 2013. The number of teen fatalities in California rose from 180 in 2012 to 204 in 2013. In an effort to stop the increase in these motor vehicle accidents, AAA along with the California Highway Patrol and other safety organizations has taken steps to provide a focused educational effort.

Teenagers and driving: The risks

The first step is an increased awareness of the risks teens face. Teenagers must deal with a trifecta of risks when behind the wheel:

  • Distracted. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly half of all high school students age 16 and older text or email while driving.
  • Impaired. Mothers Against Drunk Driving states that approximately 25 percent of all fatal ten car accidents are connected to an underage drinking driver.
  • Low seat-belt use. The CDC reports that 55 percent of teens that were killed in car crashes in 2012 were not wearing their seatbelts at the time of the accident.

These risk factors, combined with the fact that teen drivers lack the same level of experience as their adult counterparts, are the main reasons for the high teen motor vehicle accident fatality rate.

Teenagers and driving: The victims

In addition to the dangers to the teens themselves, these drivers also pose a risk to their passengers and others on the roads. Those who are injured in an accident that was the result of another's negligent or reckless behavior are likely eligible to receive compensation to help cover the costs associated with the crash. This can include medical expenses, rehabilitative costs and property damage as well as lost wages.

Victims of these accidents should contact an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer. Our founding attorney, Scott J. Corwin, has more than 25 years of experience in representing victims of DUI and drunk drivers injured in all forms of motor vehicle, motorcycle, truck, pedestrian and bicycle accidents, in the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, San Diego, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and throughout the state of California.