The National Safety Council has chosen the month of May to focus on teens and inexperienced drivers. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) records indicate that traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and young adults.
Woman driving car and texting message on smartphone, using mobile phone device while driving, dangerous and risky behavior in traffic
According to recent reports from the CDC, more than 2300 teenagers, age 16-19, were involved in automobile crashes that resulted in a death.
The CDC cites several risk factors that are completely within the control of the vehicle operator, including:
- Texting while driving
- Distracted driving
- Not wearing a seatbelt
Although these statistics are staggering, the National Safety Council (NSC), believes that the data is incomplete. Their reports indicate that law enforcement agencies in Rapides Parish and throughout Louisiana are underreporting the reasons for teen crashes, injuries and fatalities simply because they do not have fields or codes to record the information.
Novice driver strategies
Louisiana already participates in Cinderella-style licensing for young drivers, whereby teens are tested and receive a supervised learners permit, an intermediate driver’s license and then a full, unrestricted LA driver’s license.
A combined study with the NSC and the Traffic Injury Research Foundation declared that as of 2017, teen drivers remain the number one cause of death for youths. The foundation suggests taking licensing levels even farther, and they have developed research-based strategies to specifically reduce not only the number, but the severity of teen driver crashes. The underlying belief is that a tiered system of licensing over an extended period of time with technological monitoring requirements will benefit the teens – as well as drivers who share the road with them.
The simple truth is that some teens are not attentive or mature enough to recognize traffic and road conditions that might lead to a casualty – coupled with the fact that they are more likely to speed and far more likely to have additional distractions like the use of technology and focus interferences from multiple passengers while driving.
Vehicle accidents are among the leading cause of injuries and deaths in Louisiana, and most people will experience at least one accident in their lifetime. But even though they are common – they can be very upsetting, confusing and traumatic.
Significant efforts by the National Safety Council to educate the community on the dangers posed by ‘road rookies’ or young and inexperienced drivers should not end in May. Adult-to-teenager and peer-to-peer messaging that focuses on safety and awareness should continue year-round.
The Downs Law Firm is more than a simple resource for accident and injury law – our mission is to champion the rights of victims who have been wronged.
Ross Downs is dedicated to getting justice for you – he is on your side. Call the Downs Law Firm to schedule a free case evaluation.
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Bastrop, LA 71220