Brooklyn residents will lament the dangerous behaviors people exhibit behind the wheel. From distracted driving, ignoring road signs, flouting laws and acting in an overall reckless manner, motor vehicle accidents can happen without warning and cause catastrophic injuries and fatalities. Among the riskiest behaviors behind the wheel is speeding. Teens are especially prone to the temptation to use their newfound freedom to exceed the speed limit. This combination places others in jeopardy and is statistically one of the most common causes of a crash. Avoiding these collisions is, of course, preferable. In some cases, that is not possible. Those who have been hurt or lost a loved one in any accident should be cognizant of their options.
Report shows prevalence of teen deaths in auto accidents
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the most common way in which teens 15 to 18 lose their lives is in a motor vehicle accident. Not only does this place the teen driver at risk, but passengers and anyone they encounter – other drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, commuters and pedestrians – are vulnerable as well. There were more than 2,100 road deaths in accidents in which teens were driving at least one of the vehicles in 2018. Of those fatalities, 719 were the teens themselves. A major issue is speeding.
For every demographic other than teens, speed was viewed as a cause in 30% of road fatalities suggesting that teens have a substantial propensity to speed. Despite the role speeding plays, it is not the only problem with teens behind the wheel. Gender is a concern with males tending to speed and have a collision at a greater rate than females. Almost 70% of teen auto accidents in which speeding was a factor resulted in the vehicle going off the roadway. This can result in worse injuries. Rollovers are a problem as 41% of 16-year-olds who were speeding also rolled the vehicle in an accident.
These problems generally stem from a lack of experience and substandard judgment. Teens are new to the road and will not understand the nuance of safety. In addition, they may believe they can drive safely while using a cellphone, will drink or use drugs and get behind the wheel, or simply make careless maneuvers. Distraction goes beyond a device. Passengers tend to cause distraction and the more people in the vehicle, the greater chance of a speed-related crash.
Brooklynites should be cognizant of safety and know their rights
The ongoing health crisis has changed people’s lives in myriad ways. The research into teen driving is just one part of maintaining safety. It is also important to know that there has been an uptick in fatal auto accidents in general because of emptier roadways and people of all ages behaving recklessly. There is hope that the health crisis is finally starting to show some light at the end of the tunnel and the spike in collisions will decline. Still, teen drivers are ever-present.
After an accident, those who are unfortunate enough to have been involved should know what to expect in the aftermath. Exorbitant medical costs, lost income, a radically changed life and more can arise. If there is a fatality, the family left behind will need to move forward without their loved one. To assess the incident, gather evidence and understand how to proceed, it might be beneficial for Brooklynites to have experienced guidance in the process to pursuing compensation for what they have lost.