AAA Study Identifies Factors Leading to Increasing Fatal Teenage Car Accidents

For the first time in nearly ten years, the number of fatal teenage car accidents is increasing. The number of teens involved in fatal car accidents spiked in 2015, with 10 percent more accidents than in 2014, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. The American Automobile Association (AAA) endeavored to find out why.

What does the survey say?

There were almost 14,000 fatal car accidents involving teen drivers in the last five years, reports the AAA. To find out the reasons behind the surge of accidents, it surveyed driver training instructors. AAA asked the instructors nine different questions about how they perceived the actions of teens learning to drive.

According to the survey, the top three mistakes teen drivers make when they are learning to drive are:

  1. Improper visual scanning, e.g., tunnel vision, not anticipating risks. 14 percent of survey responses
  2. Improper speed control, e.g., speeding, driving too fast for conditions, inability to properly maintain speed. 11 percent of survey responses
  3. Distracted/inattentive driving, e.g., cell phone use, multitasking, focusing too long on speedometer, etc. 10 percent of responses

Poor braking technique, e.g., braking late, braking too hard, not stopping fully; not checking for traffic, e.g., ignoring blind spots, not checking mirrors; poor turning technique, e.g., losing control while turning, making dangerous left turns, etc.; and lack of decorum, e.g., overconfidence, immaturity, thinking it will be too easy, etc., tied for fourth most common mistake.

It is interesting to note that more than half of the respondents said that, in most cases, novice drivers (aged 17-18) have the same level of skill as younger drivers (14-16).

Who is at fault?

The driving instructors overwhelmingly (65 percent) felt that parents are not preparing their teens as well now as parents were ten years ago. The instructors gave inadequate practice with teens and time invested as reasons in a total of 45 percent of the responses.

While the instructors believe parents are worse at preparing their children for driving than they were 10 years, 55 percent say that teens are also worse than 10 years ago.

How can teens and parents help lower the rate of accidents?

With the lives of teens and others on the road at stake, the driver instructors offered the following advice to teens learning to drive:

  • practice more
  • drive defensively
  • avoid being distracted
  • recognize that driving is not a right, it is a privilege, and it comes with great responsibility

Parents can help by taking their kids out to practice more and always engaging in good behavior behind the wheel.

No parent or teen can stop every accident from happening. If you or your teen has been injured in an auto accident, call the auto accident attorneys in Columbus at Bressman Law.

We can help you determine liability, establish fault, gather evidence, and negotiate for the highest settlement possible.

Give us a call to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case today: 877-538-1116.