Pennsylvania Teen Drivers Urged to Stay Alert
The start of 2012 has seen far too many teens lose their lives in car accidents. Just last week a local Pennsylvania teen died when his car skidded on ice and he crashed into a building, dying at the scene. Earlier this month, three teenagers traveling together went the wrong way on a MD road resulting in a crash that killed all three. And in Virginia at the end of January, one teen died and three others were seriously injured when the teen driver crossed the center line striking another vehicle.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car accidents are the number one killer of teenagers in the United States, claiming nearly 5,600 teenage lives each year. While the above accidents are all unique, the cause of each of the accidents may not have been that different. The NHTSA has identified four primary causes for serious teen injury accidents: inexperience and immaturity combined with speed, drinking and driving, not wearing seat belts, distracted driving and drowsy driving.
With a mission to keep families safe on America’s roadways, the NHTSA is continually introducing new campaigns aimed at educating teens of common hazards encountered when driving. Its latest campaign, “Stop the Texts, Stop the Wrecks,” brings to light the dangers of texting while driving. While aimed at teens, the campaign highlights facts that also alert adults and parents to the extreme dangers of texting and driving. Parents should take a tough stance with their teen drivers in ensuring that they do not text while driving.
The NHTSA site offers 30 facts related to texting and driving, including:
- A texting driver is 23 times more likely to get into a crash than a non-texting driver.
- The age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the under-20 age group. 16% of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving.
- Using a cell phone while driving, whether it’s handheld or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), nearly one-fourth of all crashes, or approximately 1.3 million auto accidents each year, can be attributed to cell phone use while driving. The NSC also found that distractions now join alcohol and speeding as leading factors in all automobile accidents.
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) reports that, “sleep-related crashes are most common in young people, who tend to stay up late, sleep too little, and drive at night.” NSF further reports, in a 2006 poll, more than half of teens (51%) admit to having driven drowsy in the past year.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reports in 2010, 1,324 people lost their lives on Pennsylvania highways. 87,949 more were injured. 27,351 of the drivers involved in those crashes were under the age of 21. The PA DMV reports that in 2010 there were 99,001 licensed teen drivers in the state.
Our Pennsylvania car accident attorneys applaud the efforts of the NHTSA for bringing to the public’s attention some of the dangerous behaviors of teen drivers. We urge Pennsylvania adults and parents to lead by example, and follow the laws, eliminate distractions, use your seatbelt and don’t drink and drive.
About Munley, Munley & Cartwright, P.C.
Munley, Munley & Cartwright, P.C., is a Pennsylvania accident and injury law firm that represents car accident victims and their families throughout the state of Pennsylvania and the Northeast, including those injured in accidents that involve speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, fatigued driving, aggressive driving and careless driving in hazardous weather conditions. The Pennsylvania personal injury law firm’s additional practice areas include trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, toxic chemicals, workplace injuries, nursing home litigation and other serious accidents.
Munley, Munley & Cartwright, P.C., has offices throughout Pennsylvania, including Scranton, Stroudsburg, Carbondale, Plains, and Philadelphia. To contact the law firm, call (800) 318-LAW1 or use the firm’s online contact form.
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