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Recent Accident Highlights Dangers to Teen Drivers

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Car accidents remain the leading cause of death among teenagers. Teen drivers are not only still developing the judgment and impulse control necessary to become safe on the road; they’re also developing the skills necessary to be good drivers. A recent New Jersey accident highlights the dangers posed by teen drivers. If you are the parent of a young driver, take proactive steps to ensure your kids keep both their safety and the safety of other drivers in mind when they’re on the road.

On June 6, 2016, A 19-year-old man was arrested for driving while intoxicated in Jersey City. The young driver was arrested at approximately 1:30 am after hitting one moving car head-on and subsequently hitting a parked car. Both the other car’s driver and his passenger were taken to Jersey City Medical Center with minor injuries. The teen refused medical treatment at the scene of the accident.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has deemed the weeks following Memorial Day the “100 Deadliest Days,” for being a time when more teen driver deaths occur than at any other time of year. During the summer, an average of 1,022 individuals are killed each year in an accident involving a teen driver. The fatality rate in accidents involving teen drivers aged 16-19 increases by 16% during this period. Without the schedule restrictions imposed by school, driving during the summer is more likely to mean driving with friends and doing so late at night, which, along with driving while distracted by a phone, account for three of the leading causes of accidents involving teen drivers.

According to research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety where researchers examined footage obtained from dashboard-mounted cameras in vehicles driven by teens, drivers were distracted prior to a crash in 60% of all accidents captured by these cameras. The drivers were distracted by passengers in 15% of these accidents; by operating their cell phone, talking, or texting in 12% of all accidents; and by looking at or interacting with something in the vehicle in 11% of accidents.

New Jersey imposes stringent rules on teens driving with permits or probationary licenses, but it still requires parental guidance and enforcement for teens to follow these rules and understand their purpose, and sometimes the rules don’t go far enough. For example, while young drivers are not permitted on the road after 11:01 pm and before 5:00 am, the largest share of fatal accidents involving teen drivers occur between 9:00 pm and midnight, so an earlier driving curfew may be in your child’s best interests. Additionally, 41% of teens have reported seeing their parents text while behind the wheel with them in the car, so it should come as no surprise that 68% of teens themselves report texting while driving.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a New Jersey car or truck accident, seek the compensation you’re owed for your injuries by contacting skilled personal injury lawyer Andrew R. Jacobs for a free consultation on your potential claims, at 973-532-9681.

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