Although there are thousands of accidents in the United States every year, a newly released U.S. Department of Transportation report shows that nearly 10% of all drivers involved in fatal crashes were between the ages of 15 and 20 years old.

Inexperience Not The Only Factor Involved

The DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released a new Traffic Safety Facts report that summarizes 2011 national crash data for young drivers between 15 and 20 years old.  The report, compiled by the NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, shows that young drivers between those ages were involved in 4,347 fatal crashes.
While the inexperience of young drivers may be part of the equation, the report also suggests that many young drivers did not adhere to their state’s driving laws.

Operating vehicles without a valid license, drinking and driving and failure to wear seat belts were among the common factors in the accidents:

  • Invalid License.  Of the 4,347 young drivers who died in fatal crashes, 33% did not have a valid operator’s license or had previous license suspensions or revocations at the time of the crash.
  • Alcohol Use.  Nearly a third (32%) of 15 to 20-year-old drivers who were killed in crashes had a blood alcohol level of .01 g/dL (grams per deciliter) or higher and 26% had a BAC of .08 or higher.
  • Failure to wear seat belts.   Young drivers were less likely to use seat belts when they have been drinking.  In fact, the report shows that 57% of young drivers involved in fatal crashes who were drinking were also unrestrained.

The report did provide some good news.  The overall number of car accident fatalities involving young drivers decreased nearly 2% from the previous year.  However, the number of young drivers increased by nearly 1% to 12.6 million – which now comprises 6% of the U.S. driving population.

The Bottom Line

Car accidents happen.  We’ve all heard that phrase over and over again.  While the results of the NHTSA report show that age and inexperience can be part of the equation, the bottom line is that many other factors can be to blame.  Drivers of all ages can cause car accidents when texting while driving, talking on a cell phone, speeding, reckless driving, failing to obey traffic signals and signs and many others.
If you have been injured in a car accident, it’s important to understand that you have options.  For over 50 years, the Mann Law Firm has been helping injured victims in Macon and the Middle Georgia area get the compensation they deserve such as payment for medical bills, lost income, physical and emotional pain and suffering, losses associated with wrongful death, property damage and more.  Let our experienced Georgia car accident lawyers help you!


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