Crash Rates for Teen Drivers in Wisconsin Above Average
We are solidly in the middle of what is commonly known as the “100 deadliest days of summer,” which concerns teenage drivers who are sharing the roads with other drivers much more often during the summer months. The 100 deadliest days encompasses the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and nearly a full third of all traffic fatalities in Minnesota and Wisconsin occur during this time period.
Teenage drivers with little driving experience are out and about, going here and there, and most often with other teen drivers in the car with them—which makes their driving that much more dangerous. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that teen drivers, between the ages of 16 and 19 are a whopping three times more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash than drivers who are twenty years old and older. In fact, car collisions are the second-leading cause of death among teens, following only suicide.
Are Teen Auto Accidents Preventable?
The teen fatalities from traffic collisions are, to some extent, preventable. Parents of teen drivers must insist on the use of seat belts for these young drivers, as the incidence of seat belt use among teens, as compared to other age groups is very low. In fact, more than half of teen drivers who died in a traffic collision were not wearing a seat belt, or were not wearing it properly. Teen drivers also tend to take more risks than older drivers, exceed the speed limit, and allow distractions to impede their driving—all factors which contribute to the high number of teen driver fatalities.
Teen Driving Distractions
The distractions plaguing teen drivers include the use of cellphones (talking and texting), eating while driving, applying makeup while driving, changing radio stations while driving, and talking to passengers in the vehicle. Whatever the distraction, a Triple A study suggests that distraction plays a role in 60 percent of teen driver collisions, with the top distractions being cellphones and other teen passengers.
Teens Have a Disproportionate Share of Auto Accidents
In 2013, while only barely more than 4 percent of Wisconsin licensed drivers were between the ages of 16 and 19, this group accounted for 10.6 percent of all the collisions in the state. In the state of Minnesota, teens between the ages of 15 and 19 made up 6.2 percent of all drivers in 2015, yet were involved in 16.4 percent of all traffic collisions. That means the crash rates for teen drivers in Wisconsin and Minnesota are above the average.
Even though fatal traffic crashes have, overall, declined over the past two decades (most likely due to higher safety standards for vehicles and safer roadways), teenage fatalities from traffic collisions remain steady, despite the fact that Minnesota and Wisconsin have laws which limit the number of teen passengers with teen drivers, ban the use of cellphones for teen drivers, and restrict night and early morning driving for teen drivers.
These laws have appeared to reduce the number of fatal crashes among teen drivers, although more needs to be done. Teens who are caught driving during restricted times or driving with too many teen passengers could face fines, as well as forfeiture of their license until they reach the age of 18.
Driving School and Contracts Can Help Teens Drive Safely
Driving schools are offered in the state of Minnesota, where teens can receive a 10-hour credit which will go toward their 50 hours of supervised driving, plus it is recommended that parents draft a contract with their teen drivers which sets firm guidelines for them, including how many teen passengers they can transport. Such a contract may help teens understand their boundaries, allowing them to become better drivers by gaining more experience in a safer manner.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers
If your teenager has been injured in a car accident, it is important to speak to an experienced Milwaukee car accident lawyer immediately. At Aiken & Scoptur, S.C., we work with credible expert professionals to investigate and document motorcycle accident cases.
Our attorneys are dedicated to getting clients the full compensation they deserve. We take all personal injury cases on contingency, so you will not pay us a fee unless we help you obtain money damages. To discuss your case with an experienced trial lawyer, call us at 414-914-2803 or contact us today. We represent clients throughout the state from offices in Wauwatosa and Wild Rose