Motor vehicle crashes remain top cause of death for teenagers in U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), recently reported that motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. The CDC states that teens between the ages of 16 and 19 are three times more likely to die in a fatal car crash than those aged over 20.

Within this group, males, teens driving with teen passengers and those who recently received their licenses were at the highest risk for involvement in an auto accident. In response to these findings, insurance companies and businesses within the technology industry are working to develop products that can help reduce the risk of car crashes for teen drivers.

Why teens are at a higher risk

Teens are at a higher risk for a variety of reasons. The main reason appears to be a lack of experience. Teen drivers are more likely than their adult counterparts to underestimate the danger of a situation. Since the danger is underestimated, they are also less likely to recognize the hazard in the first place. Examples include:

  • Seatbelt use
  • Alcohol use
  • Speeding

According to the CDC, almost 300,000 teens aged 16 - 19 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries resulting from car crashes. The risk of being a victim of an injury from a car crash can be reduced by almost 50 percent by using a seatbelt.

How to help reduce these risks

There are many steps that can be taken to help reduce this risk. Parents can play an important role by modeling appropriate behavior and requiring children to buckle safety belts.

Technological advances also offer additional tools to help teens avoid car crashes. Some insurance companies provide a "Drivecam" option. With this option, parents can have a camera installed on the car's dashboard. The camera is activated and makes recordings if the driver does something unsafe, such as taking a turn too quickly or suddenly stopping.

Additional programs are also available that can monitor a vehicle's speed and location.

What to do if injured in a car accident

Even when precautions are taken, accidents happen. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, those injured may be eligible to receive compensation to cover the cost of lost wages, hospital bills and rehabilitation.

If you are injured in an accident due to another's negligence or reckless behavior, contact an experienced auto accident attorney to discuss your situation and better ensure your legal rights and remedies are protected.