Posted by the Charleston, SC Car Accident Lawyers at Anderson & Schuster, Attorneys at Law, LLC. Our Charleston car and truck accident lawyers are here to help those injured in auto accidents in Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Summerville and across South Carolina.
According to the CDC, in 2010 seven teenagers, ages 16 to 19, died every day from car accident injuries. Per mile driven, teen drivers are three times more likely than older drivers to be in a fatal car accident. In 2010, about 2,700 teens in the U.S. ages 16–19 were killed in auto accidents and almost 282,000 were treated for injuries suffered in car crashes.
People ages 15-24 represent 14% of the U.S. population. However, they account for 30% ($19 billion) of the total costs of auto accident injuries among males and 28% ($7 billion) of the total costs of car accident injuries among females. The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16 to 19 year olds than among any other age group.
Teen males have an especially high risk of being involved in an auto accident. In 2010, the car accident fatality rate for male drivers and passengers ages 16 to 19 was two times that of their female counterparts involved in auto accidents. Teen drivers with teen passengers are also at an increased risk of being in a car accident. The risk of a car accident increases with the number of teen passengers. Car crash risk is also high with newly licensed drivers.
Several factors put teens at risk for auto collisions. Teens are more likely than older drivers to speed and follow cars in front of them more closely. Among male drivers between 15 and 20 years of age involved in fatal car accidents in 2010, 39% were speeding at the time of the car accident and 25% had been drinking. Also, compared with other age groups, teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use. In 2011, only 54% of high school students reported they always wear seat belts when riding with someone else. Not wearing a seatbelt drastically increases your chances of serious injuries in car accidents.
There are proven methods to helping teens become safer drivers and, thus, reducing teen car accidents. Research suggests that graduated drivers licensing programs, like South Carolina's, are associated with reductions of 38% and 40% in fatal and injury-causing auto crashes, respectively, among 16-year-old drivers.