The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently reported that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers. In 2012, 2,439 teenagers were killed in car accidents, more than homicide or suicide. The death toll was split almost evenly between drivers and passengers, 56% and 44% respectively. A study conducted by Safe Kids surveyed 1,000 teens to determine what driving behaviors could be putting teens at risk.
Teenagers Commonly Fail to Wear a Seatbelt
The Safe Kids study, sponsored by the General Motors Foundation, revealed that neglecting to wear a seat belt is a huge problem among teen drivers and passengers. Of the teens surveyed, one in four said they do not wear a seat belt on every trip when riding without an adult in the car. Many of them said that they forgot or didn’t make it a habit, while some others didn’t think it was necessary on a short trip or found wearing a seatbelt uncomfortable. Eighty-four percent of the teens said they think other teens drive without a seat belt. Sadly, in half of the fatalities reported, the teens were not wearing seat belts.
Cell Phone Use is a Dangerous Epidemic Among Teen Drivers
The study also found that teens who do not use seat belts are more likely to use cell phones while driving. Thirty-nine percent of teens said they have ridden with a teen driver who was texting, and 43% say they saw a teen driver talking on a cell phone. Ninety-five percent of teens think that other teens text while driving.
Cell phone use is not limited to teenage drivers. Over half of the teens who participated in the study say they have been in the car with a parent who was talking on the phone while driving, and 28% reported seeing a parent text while driving.
The study did have some promising news. Car accident fatalities among children ages 13 to 19 dropped 56% since 2002. Additionally, only 10% of the teens surveyed said that they had been in a car with a teen driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Still, there is a lot of work to be done to make roads completely safe for teens, and auto accidents will continue to happen unless dangerous behaviors such as omitting seat belts and cell phone use change.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates Advocate for Auto Accident Victims
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an auto accident involving dangerous driver behavior, the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates will help you get the compensation you deserve. Our experienced, knowledgeable legal team will review the facts of your case and hold the responsible parties accountable for your injuries. With offices conveniently located in Center City, Philadelphia and Voorhees, NJ, we help auto accident victims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call us today at 215-567-6600 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a qualified Philadelphia personal injury lawyer.