Summer starts increase of teen driver car accidents
Teens statistically more likely to be in an accident during the summertime
Scranton, PA, June 01, 2012 — Pennsylvania car accident lawyer J. Christopher Munley said today that a recent PennDOT statement about distracted driving among young drivers is a good starting point for an important conversation with their children about traffic safety and car accidents as the summer begins.
“As statistics show, the summer can be the deadliest time of year for teenage drivers,” said Munley, managing partner of the Pennsylvania personal injury firm of Munley, Munley & Cartwright, P.C. “Now is a good time for parents to talk to young, inexperienced drivers about safe driving and the seriousness of their responsibility as drivers.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car crashes are the leading cause of death for American teenagers. In the months of June through August, an average of 422 teens die in traffic crashes each month, the NHTSA says. That’s compared to an average of 363 teens killed in car crashes during non-summer months.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) said in a May 22 statement that younger drivers’ lack of experience can greatly increase the risk of a crash if they are distracted while driving. Over the past five years in Pennsylvania, distracted driving led to nearly 4,000 crashes involving 16- and 17-year-old drivers and resulted in 18 deaths, PennDOT says.
Distracted driving is any action that draws attention away from the safe operation of a vehicle.
Texting while driving, one of the most common forms of distraction among teen drivers, is prohibited by the state’s new anti-texting law, which took effect in early March.
“Being distracted while driving, even for a second, is a potentially deadly proposition that endangers everyone on the road,” PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said in the released statement. “To put it simply, put everything else aside and ‘just drive.’”
Munley, Munley & Cartwright, P.C., handles personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of car accident victims and their families in Pennsylvania and throughout the Northeast.
“In addition to these kind of statistics, parents should remind their teens about Pennsylvania’s new anti-texting law and the Teen Driver Law, which says drivers younger than 18 may not transport more than one passenger who is under 18 and not an immediate family member, unless a parent or guardian is with them,” Munley said.
“Parents can also help their teens this summer and far beyond this summer by modeling safe driving behavior themselves,” the Scranton personal injury lawyer added.
Munley said teenage drivers get into accidents because of their inexperience, but teens are also more likely to engage in reckless and negligent behavior, like texting while driving or drinking and drugging while driving.
“Auto accidents happen, and anyone can understand a mistake or a lapse,” Munley said. “But if someone is injured or killed because of a driver’s negligence or recklessness, then clearly the safe driving messages have not worked. And that’s when we believe that seeking justice for those who have been harmed becomes the paramount issue.”
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