Report: Risky Behaviors In Youthful Drivers
Young millennials are the worst behind the wheel, according to a recent survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Researchers discovered almost 9 in 10 drivers between the ages of 19 to 24 admitted to engaging in at least one risky behavior while driving in the last month.
- Texting while driving;
- Running red lights.
As a recent Kentucky car accident revealed, these actions can have tragic consequences.
Fox 4 News reports two teens were killed and seven were injured when the sedan they were piled into careened off the road and crashed into a tree in Lenexa. Authorities report at around 4:30 a.m., a police officer tried to pull the vehicle over. However, instead of stopping, the teen driver sped away. The officer chose not to pursue the vehicle, in line with department policies for initiating a chase.
Soon after, though, officers discovered the car crowded with minor-aged passengers had slammed into the tree in a residential neighborhood. Two, including the driver, were killed. The driver was just 15-years-old, and the other decedent was only 13.
Investigators say there were no obvious signs of alcohol use, such as bottles or cans in the vehicle, but the investigation is ongoing.
Losses like this simply do not have to happen.
Memorial Day begins what is commonly known as the “100 deadliest days of summer,” where there is an even higher-than-normal spike in teen crashes. School is out. More teens are on the road. Schedules are increasingly lax. Youths are out late. It’s estimated 1,000 people die in crashes involving teen drivers during this three-month window. That’s more than 10 a day.
Crashes for drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 climb dramatically during this time, with the average number of traffic fatalities up 16 percent in this window than during other times of the year.
One study by the University of Iowa spanning 2007 to 2015 revealed 59 percent of all crashes involve driver distractions, such as talking on a phone or texting. Teens are especially prone to this, and the presence of just one more teen in the vehicle can also prove a major distraction.
What is especially troubling about the new AAA study, which queried 2,500 drivers, is not even so much that teens engage more frequently in risky behaviors while driving. This we knew already. What is frightening is the fact that a significant portion of motorists 19 to 24 think these kinds of driving behaviors are acceptable.
For example, 14 percent of drivers in this age group say it’s acceptable to drive through a light that just turned red when they could have safely stopped, as compared to 6 percent of all drivers. Speeding in excess of 10 mph over the posted limit in a school zone, they say, is acceptable, as compared to 5 percent of all motorists.
Younger drivers were also 1.6 times more likely than older drivers to report having red or sent a text message or email while driving in the last month.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Wichita car accident involving a teen driver, let our experienced injury lawyers help you determine your best course of legal action. Contact us for a free case evaluation today, and let us help you receive the compensation you’re entitled to.