As an insurance agent, one of the most disturbing calls we receive involves an automobile accident involving a teen driver who was injured, injured others, or worse yet killed.
For the parent dispair and an overwhelming sense of “What could I have done to prevent this?” sets in. For an agent, we may have insured this family for many years; sharing with them as they welcomed their child to the world, heard of school accomplishments, and the pinnacle of milestones; passing their driver’s license test. We have a sense of responsibility to help educate those parents and young drivers to make sure they don’t become a statistic.
In 2007 Congress established the National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDW). The goal was to focus the country’s attention on raising awareness and seeking unnecessary teen deaths on the road. This year’s theme is reducing distractions. Distractions, including friends of passengers, are the No. 1 reason new drivers crash, and car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death for adolescents.
Everyone knows drinking and driving is a primary cause of teen crashes and teen deaths. But many people don’t know:
- 16-year-old drivers are three times more like to die in a car crash than other drivers.
- Simple driver error is a factor in two-thirds of fatal teen crashes.
- Two-thirds of teen occupants killed in crashes are not wearing seat belts.
- In 2005, 12 percent of high school males reported driving after drinking.
- Two or more peer passengers more than triples the risk of a fatal crash with a teen at the wheel.
- Two-thirds of teens who die in car crashes are passengers of teen drivers.
- Speeding is a factor in 40 percent of all teen driver fatalities.
- Being awake for 18 hours is similar to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08, which is legally drunk.
- Inexperience combined with distractions is lethal.
- The distractions proven to kill teens: teen passengers and cell phones.
This article brought to you by your Southeastern Pennsylvania Insurance Agency, The Weimer Group. Our goal is to keep you informed of issues that you can relate to. Talk to your teens and keep them safe!