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According to the Centers for Disease Control, motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death for U.S. teens. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicates that teen drivers are nearly three times as likely to be in a fatal crash as drivers who are over 19 years old. Accidents involving teen drivers can also injure or kill other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
Understanding the main causes and risk factors for teen drivers can help parents find new ways to keep their teens safe on the road. At Boller & Vaughan, we’re here to advocate for Wisconsin individuals and their families whose lives are affected by car accidents, especially when they have preventable causes like negligence and alcohol.
The CDC states that in 2019, nearly 2,400 teens between the ages of 13 and 19 died in car crashes. That averages out to seven teens every day. Statistics show that teens are at the highest risk for a crash during the first few months after they obtain their driver’s licenses.
Statistics from 2012 (the most recent data available) show that 57 teens died in car crashes in Wisconsin in that year. In the same year, 9.2 percent of all drivers between 16 and 19 years old in Wisconsin were involved in a crash.
The IIHS uses data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System to study trends of teens and motor vehicle accidents. According to the IIHS, teens accounted for about 7 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2019. In the same year, about 66 percent of teen car accident fatalities were male.
While motor vehicle accidents cause deaths among teen passengers, teen drivers are statistically far more likely to lose their lives. According to fatality data from 2019 for passenger vehicle occupants aged 16 to 19, 61 percent of those who died were drivers. Additionally, 57 percent of deaths among teenage passengers happened in vehicles that were driven by another teenager. And 13 percent of deaths among passengers of all ages occurred when a teen was driving.
In 2018 (the most recent year for which data is available) motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death for females between ages 13 and 19. Car crashes were the second-leading cause of death for male teens (second to suicide).
Motor vehicle accidents are extremely expensive in terms of medical costs, lost work, and property damage. The CDC indicates that in 2018, car crash fatalities among teens aged 15 to 19 accounted for a total of $4.8 billion dollars in work loss and medical costs.
The CDC lists several of the most common factors that can put teens at risk for car accidents:
Parents can play a significant role in reducing the risk of their teens being involved in teen driver training. The first step is making sure that teens understand the biggest risk factors and causes of car crashes. Adults should remind teens to follow these basic safe driving tips:
Statistics show that graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs that require teens to gain more driving experience (especially at night) before earning an unrestricted license are very successful at reducing crashes. In fact, GDL systems are linked with a 19 percent reduction in injury crashes and a 21 percent reduction in fatal crashes for 16-year-olds. In Wisconsin, the GDL program limits 16-year-old drivers to no more than one passenger and prohibits them from driving between midnight and 5:00 a.m. for several months after getting their licenses.
Teenage drivers have a higher risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident that causes injuries or death than adults do. In many cases, crashes involving teen drivers are completely preventable because they’re caused by avoidable factors like alcohol, speeding, negligence, or distracted driving.
Unfortunately, many accidents involving teen drivers cause injuries or deaths of pedestrians or occupants of other vehicles. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence or DUI, you may be able to pursue compensation with a personal injury claim.
At Boller & Vaughan, we help victims and their families seek fair compensation after motor vehicle accidents. You can schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and learn what your legal options are.
To contact our office in Madison, Wisconsin, call (608) 268-0268, or use the online form. For more information on teen drivers and personal injury cases, follow Boller & Vaughan on Facebook.
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We live in Friendship, Wisconsin, and Boller & Vaughan came to our doorstep to discuss our mother’s wrongful death claim on a Saturday morning. Not only were we pleased with the large recovery, we were so thankful to have lawyers who were willing to explain to us every twist and turn along the way. It is great to know there is a law firm that will fight for the rights of elderly people all over Wisconsin.
Mr. Boller and Ms. Vaughan were incredible in working on my case and my daughter’s case. I was out of work and in the hospital with a new baby. Mr. Boller and Ms. Vaughan protected our rights and it was a pleasure to work with them. I hope never to be in another motor vehicle accident, however, if I am and I am injured, I will contact Boller & Vaughan immediately.
I was referred to Michelle through a friend. I have never had a better experience. It took a little over a year to get my settlement but the staff there stayed in constant contact and kept me in the loop. Oh, and Michelle actually got me MORE money than we discussed. I will refer anyone to this firm. Words cannot do justice the thanks that I have for Michelle and her staff (Mary especially) thank you guys so much!
After my husband died as a result of a motor vehicle accident, Boller & Vaughan spent countless hours talking with me, meeting with me in person, and making sure that I was okay. The drunk driver who hit us did not have any insurance, and we had to make a claim through our own insurance. Boller & Vaughan was fantastic at explaining the law to me and the handling of our claims.
After my son was injured in a daycare setting, Ms. Vaughan took the time to thoroughly investigate our case and my son’s injuries. Michele was approachable and had answers to our questions. Talking with her helped to relieve many of our anxieties.