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All Press Releases for January 04, 2014 »
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Teenagers are especially at risk of being in fatal car accidents

Teenage drivers aren't the only ones at risk; others on the road can be affected by an inexperienced driver's choices
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    January 04, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The first few years of driving can be an exciting time for young people, but is also the most dangerous. Whether from inexperience or recklessness, teenage drivers make up a large portion of people who are killed in the U.S. each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that teen drivers are three times more likely than experienced drivers to be involved in a fatal crash and account for about 30 percent of the total costs of auto accident injuries. With the CDC's report of about 2,700 teenagers killed and 282,000 injured in car accidents in 2010, this is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, car accidents are the number one cause of death for drivers ages 16 to 19, with the highest average of crashes and traffic violations per year. Younger drivers have a multitude of skills and behaviors to master before they're safer on the roads. Inexperienced drivers can have difficulty understanding or detecting road hazards, and can have a low perception of the risks facing them. Night driving can be a problem for many drivers, especially teenagers who are still learning. Teenagers fall into a large group of people who often don't wear seatbelts, increasing their risk of being seriously injured or killed in an accident. And many teenagers choose to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Family and friends mourning tragic deaths of five teenagers

Teenage drivers aren't the only ones at risk. Others on the road can be affected by an inexperienced driver's choices, as well as passengers riding along. In some cases, drivers may try to show off for their friends, or their passengers can encourage them to engage in risky driving behaviors, such as speeding. It's unknown whether this was the case in a recent fatal accident in Burbank, but police say they suspect speed was a factor that resulted in the deaths of five young people, as reported by NBC Los Angeles. The driver lost control of the vehicle and burst into flames after hitting a concrete barrier.

Helping your teens make better driving choices

As with other milestones in life, parents have a big impact on their kids' choices. Their own choices, examples and experiences can affect teenagers' decisions behind the wheel. State Farm offers the following tips for parents, that they should implement years before their kids are old enough to drive:
- Always wear a seatbelt before starting up the car, and make sure all passengers remain buckled up.
- Don't drive distracted or tired.
- Avoid speeding, tailgating and other dangerous habits.
- Obey driving rules and set a good, safe example for everyone in the car.

As always, communicating with kids can help them understand what's expected of them and which rules to follow when they begin driving.

When to contact an attorney

Despite everyone's best efforts, it's not always possible to prevent teenagers from getting into accidents. Speeding, drunk driving and other dangerous activities common to teens can result in serious injuries and expensive medical bills. If you've been injured by a teenage driver, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights and how you can be eligible for compensation.

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