Teen Driving Awareness Month: Statistics and Safety Tips
January is Teen Driving Awareness Month
January is Teen Driving Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of deaths for teenagers in the United States. Additionally, about six teens between the ages of 16-19 are killed in motor vehicle accidents every day in the United States.
Teens in this age group are most likely coming right out of their driving education and lessons. With that being said, being new on the road impacts their driving safety. Teens are reported to largely underestimate dangerous situations. Keep reading to learn more on teen driving facts, laws in the Washington D.C. area, and safety tips.
Teen Driving Statistics and Demographics
According to the CDC, teen drivers between the ages of 16-19 are approximately three times as likely as drivers aged 20 or older to be involved in a fatal car accident. A total of 2,375 teenagers ages 13-19 died in motor vehicle crashes in 2019. Which has decreased significantly over time. Teens who are at most likely at risk in experiencing a fatal motor vehicle accident are:
- Teens driving with teen or young adult passengers
- Newly licensed teens
Leading causes of teen driving fatalities
- Teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19, are more likely to make poor decisions that can lead to a serious accident than an older adult. Moreover, this young age group often does take dangerous situations into recognition.
- Night time and weekend driving
- Driving at night is riskier than driving during the day for any driver regardless of age. In 2019, 40% of the motor vehicle fatalities among the ages of 16-19 happened between 9pm and 6pm. More than half of these accidents occurred during a weekend.
- Not using seatbelts
- Teens and young adults have the lowest seat belt use rates. In 2019, nearly half of high school students in the United States did not always wear a seatbelt when riding in a car driven by someone else.
- Between the ages of 16-19 who died in a car crash in 2019, approximately 50% were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
- Distracted driving
- Distracted driving negatively impacts one’s driving impairment and performance. However, it can be extremely dangerous for young and inexperienced drivers.
- According to 2019 survey recorded by the National Youth Risk Behavior, 39% of these students that drove either were texting or emailing while they were behind the wheel at least once during a month prior to the survey.
- Teens are more likely to drive above the speed limit than an average adult driver.
- Alcohol use
- Consuming any type of alcohol can affect anyone’s driving impairment.
- Results from the 2019 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey revealed the following:
- Driving after drinking alcohol was higher among students who were older, male, or had lower grades.
- 16.7% of U.S. high school students rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol at least once during the 30 days before the survey.
- Drinking alcohol is illegal for people less than 21 years of age, as is driving after drinking any amount of alcohol. In 2019, 24% of drivers aged 15–20 who were killed in fatal motor vehicle crashes had been drinking.
- For young drivers involved in fatal crashes, alcohol involvement is typically higher among male drivers than among female drivers.
- Drugs and substance use
- Driving while impaired by any substance whether it is alcohol, marijuana, other illicit drugs, prescription medications, or over-the-counter medications is hazardous and against the law. Many types of drugs/substances have the potential to impair a teen’s ability to drive safely.
- After alcohol, marijuana is the most common drug affiliated with impaired driving.
- Marijuana has poor effects on judgment, motor coordination, decision-making, and reaction time.
Maryland Laws On Teen Driving
In the state of Maryland, one cannot hold a provisional license until they reach the age of 16 years and 6 months. Provisional drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to have any passengers under the age of 18, other than immediate family members for the first 151 days. In addition, anyone who holds a provisional license under the age of 18 is not allowed to drive between 12:00am until 5:00am unless:
- There is a supervised licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age and has over 3 years of driving experience.
- They are driving to or from a job, official school activities, organized volunteer program, or an athletic event.
Sanctions for violating a license restriction:
- Anyone who fails to follow an alcohol restriction must participate in the ignition interlock program or face a 6 month suspension. A second violation of an alcohol restriction will result in the revocation of a license.
- Any conviction for violating the restriction on using a wireless communication device can result in a 90 day suspension.
- Anyone violating the passenger or night time restrictions on their licenses will be suspended for one year.
These are just a few sanctions under Maryland law for violating a provisional license under the age of 18. For more information, visit Maryland Department of Transportation.
It’s important not only to get an education in one of Maryland’s driving schools, but it’s critical for parents to educate their teens on the leading causes of motor vehicle deaths within their age group. Parents of teenagers should encourage them on the following:
- Wear a seat belt at all times when driving a vehicle. This can reduce crash related injuries deaths. In addition, there are some circumstances where you are able to receive the maximum compensation even if your teen was not wearing a seatbelt. To learn more, click here.
- Educate them on driving sober. While no parent wants to think their teenager is consuming alcohol, the reality is that too many teens do have access to alcohol before the legal drinking age. Discuss the risks and what to do if they end up in a drunk driving situation.
- Not skipping classes from a driver’s education program or school.
Contact A Teen Driving Car Accident Lawyer
It’s awful to say that car accidents are the leading causes of deaths among teenagers. No parent is ever prepared for these tragic situations. It is always best to speak with an experienced teen car accident lawyer in Maryland. Moreover, they can assist you in gaining the compensation you deserve. Call Malloy Law Offices, LLC now, to start your case: (202) 933-1918.