CDC Study Linking Young Drivers and Car Accident Deaths Important Warning to North Carolina Teen Drivers to Avoid Texting While Driving
An in-depth study from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that many young adult and teenage drivers pose a risk to themselves, their passengers and other drivers due to their inexperience behind the wheel. The results of the study, which appeared in a July 2012 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, showed that, in 2009, drivers age 15 to 24 made up nearly a quarter of the 34,485 motor vehicle deaths among U.S. residents. That translates to more than 7,500 young people who died unnecessarily in car wrecks.
The North Carolina car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin see these numbers as confirmation that young drivers, particularly new, easily distracted drivers, are more likely to get into accidents than more experienced drivers. Though many young people are good drivers, there are several reasons for such a high rate of new driver car accident deaths, including young people getting behind the wheel after a party and driving drunk or teens texting while driving or making cell phone calls on the road. Regardless of what reduces a new driver’s ability to avoid a serious car crash, traffic wrecks such as teen rear-end collisions and young adult high-speed crashes are the tragedies that translate into statistics such as those represented by this CDC study.
In cities like Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham and Fayetteville, North Carolina car accident fatalities involving young drivers can be due to inexperience with urban traffic and rules of the road. On busy highways like I-95, I-85 or I-40, 18-wheelers can be intimidating to teen drivers who aren’t used to them. In rural areas, there are other reasons for new driver car accidents. They may approach a blind curve or a poorly lit intersection.
The North Carolina Graduated Driving License Program helps prevent at least some teen driver car crashes. The program requires that young drivers go through two phases of driving restrictions. Distracted driving, however, is a continual risk for inexperienced drivers, regardless of teen license restrictions, because of the temptation to text, make cellphone calls or use a GPS unit while driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the US Government’s Website for Distracted Driving, our youngest and most inexperienced drivers are at the greatest risk, with 16% of all distracted driving crashes involving teenage drivers 19 years old and younger. The site also states that sending or reading a text takes young drivers’ eyes off the road for nearly 5 seconds, which, at 55 mph, is the same as driving the length of an entire football field with a blindfold on.
The experienced personal injury attorneys at the North Carolina Law Offices of James Scott Farrin know distracted driving is the cause of a large percentage of North Carolina car wreck injuries and car crash fatalities. If you or someone you love suffered injuries after being hit by a distracted driver, call us at 1-866-900-7078 or complete our online contact form today.