According to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of teenage injuries and deaths in the United States. Sadly, thirty-nine traffic fatalities in the State of Massachusetts in 2012 involved a teenager. Teenage drivers are inexperienced and as a result are four times more likely to be injured in an automobile accident and are twice as likely to injure someone else.
Having a loved one involved in a motor vehicle accident can be problematic, however, an accident caused by a teenager can be even more devastating because the consequences can destroy the teenager’s life and the lives of those around them.
Massachusetts teen drivers at most risk to be in a motor vehicle accident are males who are 2 times more likely than teenage females to be involved in a motor vehicle accident, teens driving with other teen passengers, and newly licensed teens (the risk of accident is greatest during the months immediately following obtaining a license). Teen drivers also have the lowest use of seatbelts. For example, in 2013 only 55% of teenagers said they used there seatbelt when driving with someone else.
Some of the reasons that Massachusetts teenagers are more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident are:
• Risky driving behaviors
• Driving with teen passengers
• Cell phone use/texting
• Underestimating dangerous situations
• Nighttime driving
• Drowsy driving
The good news is the number of car accidents involving teenage driver is trending downward and has decreased by 50% since Massachusetts raised the training requirements for teenage drivers seeking licensure and also, increased the penalties for teen driving infractions, such as speeding.
Graduated Licensing Systems are a proven way to decrease teen accidents and fatalities by putting restrictions on teen drivers that are gradually lifted as the teen gains the experience and skills necessary to be a better driver. Parents are a key tool in preventing teen accidents in Massachusetts by helping to teach safe driving as well as understanding and helping to enforce the laws.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident, contact Wynn and Wynn Attorneys so we can help you through the process. To set up a free consultation please call 1.800.852.5211 or Click Here to Contact Us.