Memorial Day marked the beginning of what the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has taken to calling the “100 Deadliest Days” for teenage drivers.
The newest results from an ongoing study are nothing short of alarming, proving that almost 60 percent of teen automobile accidents involve being distracted behind the wheel. There was also a noted rise in texting and posting on social media sites while driving.
In the past five years, over 5,000 fatalities were caused in accidents involving teenage drivers during the “100 Deadliest Days” period. According to Jana Tidwell, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs, an average of 10 people a day die as the result of injuries sustained in a crash that involves a teen driver. Tidwell stresses the importance of using this new data to better understand the kinds of distractions that are contributing to this considerable rise in teen driver accidents so that more can be done to prevent it.
Pennsylvania’s own PennDOT 2015 Crash Facts data also shows a slight rise in distracted driving fatalities in which the drivers were between the ages of 16 and 19 over the past three years. Tidwell suggested that Pennsylvania is one of several states that could improve upon the existing laws regarding passenger restrictions for teen drivers, another significant factor of distraction for an inexperienced driver. The AAA recommendation for new drivers is to limit distractions by allowing no more than one non-family passenger under 20 years of age in a teen’s vehicle for a minimum of six months after receiving their license.
Our experience in representing distracted driving injury victims makes us all too knowledgeable in the impact these events have on the lives of all involved. We hope that sharing these sobering statistics will contribute in some way to the prevention of accidents this summer.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a crash caused by driver distraction and you have questions you need answered, our Harrisburg personal injury lawyers proudly offer free consultations and strive to provide excellent customer service.