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Texas car accident: leading cause of death among teens

In preparation for National Teen Driver Safety Week, it seems appropriate to talk about the sobering statistics surrounding teenage drivers. Available statistics show that in 2011, over 2,600 teens ages 16 to 19 lost their lives to car accident deaths. Along with those killed in crashes, almost 300,000 were injured in these wrecks. Texas has, unfortunately, seen its fair share of these incidents.

Young drivers are said to make up about 14 percent of the national population. Despite this being a relatively low number, the estimated costs spent on auto-accident related injuries among this age group totals approximately $26 billion. Records would suggest that young male drivers are about two times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash as opposed to a young women in their age group. These young drivers face a variety of obstacles and risk factors when first learning to drive including:

  • Lack of experience
  • Passenger distraction
  • Cell phone use
  • Speeding

In order to help protect teens and others sharing the road with them, safety education is important. Parents and driver's education trainers have a huge responsibility to not only teach, but to provide a good example for safe driving behaviors. This includes the use of seat belts, avoiding distractions, following speed limits and not driving if impaired. Providing this good example and setting restrictions on driver's licenses have shown to reduce the number of fatal accidents among this age group.

A car accident can happen for a number of reasons, some of which are unavoidable. However, a significant number of fatal accidents occur due to bad habits behind the wheel, which is why teaching safe driving techniques to our young drivers is critical. Texas residents who have been injured or lost a loved one due to someone else's bad driving behaviors may seek compensation for their losses by filing a legal complaint in civil court. A monetary judgment may be awarded for successfully litigated claims.

Source: cdc.gov, "Teen Drivers: Get the Facts", , Oct. 7, 2014

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