May is Global Youth Traffic Safety Month
The National Safety Council has chosen the month of May to highlight teens and inexperienced drivers. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) records indicate that traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and young adults.
According to the most recent data from the CDC, more than 2300 teenagers, age 16-19, were involved in automobile crashes that resulted in a death.
The CDC cites several risk factors that are completely within the control of the vehicle operator, including:
- Texting while driving
- Alcohol consumption
- Distracted driving
- Not wearing a seatbelt
Although these statistics are staggering, the National Safety Council (NSC), reports that the numbers contain incomplete date. Their research shows that law enforcement agencies underreport the reasons for teen crashes, injuries and fatalities simply because they do not have fields or codes to record the information.
Novice driver strategies
A combined study with the NSC and the Traffic Injury Research Foundation declared that as of 2017, teen drivers remains the number one cause of death for youths. They have developed research-based strategies to reduce the number and severity of teen driver crashes. The underlying belief is that a tiered system of licensing over an extended period of time with technological monitoring requirements will benefit the teens – as well as drivers who share the road with them.
Heaven can wait
Inexperienced drivers put everyone around them at risk. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety studied 50 families with teen drivers for a period of one year. The results of the study indicated that youth crash rates occur four times more often than those of experienced adult drivers in the same circumstances.
Texts from your friends will be there when you put your vehicle in park, a missed call can be returned – but the consequences of a fatal or catastrophic crash remain for a lifetime.
The consequences of teen distracted driving can be horrific and irreversible. Hammond teen Michael Phillips crossed the center line and hit a pole, killing his best friend and injuring two other friends. He admitted to driving recklessly with distractions and was sentenced to four years of probation. Phillips said that he felt he was serving a life sentence because he had killed his best friend.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a young or inexperienced driver, please call Marshall P. Whalley immediately. Call 219-769-2900 to schedule a free consultation.
Significant efforts by the National Safety Council to educate the community on the dangers posed by ‘road rookies’ or young and inexperienced drivers should not be confined to one month per year. Adult-to-teenager and peer-to-peer messaging that focuses on safety and awareness should continue year-round.
Whalley & Associates has served the people of Indiana, Michigan and Illinois for more than 30 years. They are knowledgeable, trustworthy experts that are dedicated to helping victims obtain justice and full value compensation in both personal injury and wrongful death claims. Call the law offices of Marshall P. Whalley to schedule a free case evaluation.
Marshall P. Whalley & Associates, PC
5 West 112th Avenue
Crown Point, IN 46307