Carter Craig, Attorneys at Law

Teens driving with teens may have more fatal crashes

Driving on Virginia roads can always present a danger, especially when inexperienced drivers are involved. For National Teen Driver Safety Week, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released new statistics about severe accidents and fatalities that involve teen drivers. According to the study, the fatality rate for people involved in a crash increased by 51 percent when teen drivers were carrying only other teens as passengers.

The study also found that fatality rates decreased 8 percent in crashes when teen drivers were accompanied by passengers age 35 or older. In 2016 alone, there were over one million auto accidents involving teen drivers across the country; many were severe, and 3,200 people lost their lives in these motor vehicle accidents.

The increase in fatality rates when only teens were in the vehicle applied to all kinds of accident victims. In fact, it increased by 56 percent for the occupants of other vehicles involved in the accident, 17 percent for cyclists and pedestrians and 45 percent for the teenage drivers themselves.

Researchers noted that teen drivers are inexperienced and may have less skill and knowledge in responding to emergency situations. In addition, teens who have not experienced a serious accident may be more likely to engage in negligent behavior such as texting while driving. A car full of teen drivers laughing and talking can also contribute to distraction; anything that diverts a driver's eyes and mind from the road can contribute to a crash.

Of course, drivers of all ages can be responsible for deadly and devastating car crashes. People who have been injured in a motor vehicle crash due to someone else's negligent or dangerous driving can consult with a personal injury lawyer. An attorney might help accident victims to seek compensation for their losses, including current and future medical bills and lost wages.

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