For the first time in almost 10 years, there has been a year-over-year increase in the number of fatalities from car accidents involving teenage drivers, according to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).
The report, which analyzed data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), found that fatalities from crashes involving teenage drivers increased from 4,272 in 2014 to 4,689 in 2015.
Prior to this increase, fatalities from these kinds of accidents had been decreasing every year since 2005, when 8,241 people lost their lives in these crashes.
Researchers also discovered that teenage drivers are at a 1.6 percent greater change of being involved in a fatal crash than adult drivers.
The risk of a fatal accident appears to increase as teenagers get older. An NHTSA report from May found that 472 19-year-old drivers were involved in fatal crashes in the last 10 years compared to just 39 15-year-old drivers.
Top Causes Of Fatal Crashes With Teenage Drivers
Federal data shows that, over the past five years, speeding was a factor in almost one-third of fatal crashes involving teenage drivers. Of the 14,000 fatal crashes that occurred during that time, 4,200 of them involved speeding.
A new survey from AAA shows that speeding is a bad habit that many teenage drivers developed when they were learning how to drive.
The survey, titled Skills of Novice Teen Drivers, asked 142 driving instructors to reveal the top three mistakes that teenagers make when they are learning how to drive:
- Distracted driving
- Failing to scan the road for hazards
Driving instructors also noted that a majority of parents are doing a worse job of preparing teenagers to drive compared to 10 years ago.
Parents are also setting a bad example through their own behaviors. A survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed that 77 percent of drivers between the ages of 35 and 55 admitted to talking on a cellphone while driving.
If you have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by speeding or distracted driving, contact our skilled car accident attorneys today for a free consultation.