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Memorial Day to Labor Day for Teen Drivers = "100 Deadliest Days"

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 1-Jun-2016

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Posted by Salvatore J, Zambri, founding member and partner.

As I have blogged about for many years, distracted driving, especially among teens, has increased dramatically.

According to newly released statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens.

Statistics from 2013 indicate that "2,163 teens in the United States ages 16–19 were killed and 243,243 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes. That means that six teens ages 16–19 died every day from motor vehicle injuries.

Young people ages 15-24 represent only 14% of the U.S. population. However, they account for 30% ($19 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among males and 28% ($7 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among females."

Research from AAA Foundation reveals that almost 60% of teen crashes involve distraction while behind the wheel, as well as the continuing and disturbing trend that texting and social media use are increasing for teen drivers. The latest report from crash videos for 2007-2012 found consistent trends for the top three distractions:

  • "Talking or attending to other passengers in the vehicle: 15 percent of crashes
  • Talking, texting or operating a cell phone: 12 percent of crashes
  • Attending to or looking at something inside the vehicle: 11 percent of crashes"

AAA Reveals Top Driving Distractions for Teens as 100 Deadliest Days Begin

"Research by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that texting creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. A recent AAA Foundation survey shows that nearly 50 percent of teen drivers admitted they had read a text message or email while driving in the past 30 days. NHTSA’s National Occupant Protection Use Survey also shows that from 2007 to 2014, the percentage of young drivers seen visibly manipulating a hand-held device quadrupled."

AAA advises parents to educate their teens about the dangers of distracted driving, including:

  • "Have conversations early and often about the dangers of distraction.
  • Make a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules against distracted driving.
  • Teach by example and minimize distractions when driving."

The CDC recommends several proven methods for prevention of deaths and injuries involving teen drivers:

  • Using seat belts - 56% of teens who died from automobile crashes in 2013 were not wearing seat belts.
  • Not drinking and driving - "Enforcing minimum legal drinking age laws and zero blood-alcohol tolerance laws for drivers under age 21 are recommended."
  • Graduated Driver Licensing Programs (GDL) - States with comprehensive GDL programs associate reduction of 38% and 40% in fatal and injury crashes among 16-year-old drivers.
  • Know the Eight Danger Zones for teen crashes -
    • "Driver inexperience
    • Driving with teen passengers
    • Nighttime driving
    • Not using seat belts
    • Distracted driving
    • Drowsy driving
    • Reckless driving
    • Impaired driving"

Every year I give presentations to area schools about distracted driving in an effort to teach young people the importance of driving carefully, and to empower them to be sure they do not allow others to drive while distracted, at least not while they are in the car.

If you or your child’s school would like to know more about my presentation, please let me know. I of course do not charge a fee for it, as it is part of my volunteer community service program.

Do you have any questions about this post? If so, please email Mr. Zambri: szambri@reganfirm.com.

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is a board-certified civil trial attorney by the National Board of Trial Advocates and a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. The association recently named him "Trial Lawyer of the Year". Super Lawyers recently named him among the "Top Ten" lawyers in the Metro Area (out of more than 80,000 attorneys). He has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 100″ lawyers in the entire metropolitan area. The magazine also describes him as "one of Washington's best-most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in personal injury matters, including automobile accident claims, premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and work-accident claims. He has successfully litigated multiple cases against truck and bus companies, the Washington Metropolitan Area transit Authority, and other automobile owners. His law firm, in fact, has obtained the largest settlement ever in a personal injury case involving WMATA. Mr. Zambri has also been acknowledged as one of "The Best Lawyers in America" by Best Lawyers (2014 edition) and has been repeatedly named a "Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine (2014) - national publications that honor the top lawyers in America.

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