Teenage drivers face a high risk of injuries and death when they get behind the wheel after they have been drinking or when they use a cellphone while on the road. Driving under the influence of alcohol had, for many years, been the number one reason for teen driver fatalities in car accidents. However, that has been recently surpassed by texting while driving. Residents Teen drivers as well as their parents might benefit from learning about the risks of both of these behaviors.
The statistics available related to underage drivers and drinking and driving highlight that while drivers under 21 make up only 10 percent of the drivers in the United States, they are actually responsible for 17 percent of all fatal accidents involving alcohol in the U.S. About 2,000 underage drivers die yearly after driving while intoxicated. Alcohol also plays a role in about a third of all auto accidents involving teenagers.
Recently, however, texting while driving has become an even larger problem, with approximately 3,000 teenagers dying each year in accidents where that was occurring. Using a cellphone in any manner while behind the wheel has been found to significantly slow a young driver's reaction time.
While there are laws in place to attempt to prevent underage drivers from engaging in both types of risky behaviors, teen drivers will continue to get into accidents. Part of the problem is that many underage drivers do not believe anything will happen to them. For this reason, it is important to educate them about the risks they face and to outline the consequences of these actions clearly. In the meantime, those who have been injured as a result of a young driver's negligence may wish to speak with a personal injury attorney in order to determine the steps to take in an attempt to recover compensation from the responsible party.