New research reveals what's causing this disturbing trend
Reckless driving in Louisiana clearly doesn't have an age requirement, as the Pelican State recently made the dubious list of the top 10 states with the most teenage driving fatalities in the nation. According to a report by Zutobi, Louisiana had the 7th most teen deaths per 100,000 teenage drivers (35.22), behind only New Mexico (40.86), Mississippi (41.89), Montana (44.08), Arkansas (45.12), North Carolina (45.34), and Kentucky (71.45). Arizona (32.79), Texas (31.77), and Florida (31.11) rounded out the remaining top 10 worst states for teen driving deaths.
Nationwide, fatal teen car accidents are also a problem
On a national scale, fatal teen car accidents increased by nearly 20% in 2020 after being on a steady decline since 1982, as poor driving habits during the pandemic essentially erased nearly 40 years of progress. Now, negligent teen driving habits such as drinking and driving, speeding, and distracted driving are wreaking havoc on roads in New Orleans and other major cities throughout the nation.
At The Law Offices of John S. Williams, LLC, we understand how difficult it can be if you or someone you love was injured in a serious crash caused by an inexperienced teen driver. Likewise, we realize how challenging it is to be the parent of a teen who was injured in a crash that was not their fault. Crash victims of all ages may have recourse through the civil justice system, but cases involving teen drivers are often complex. If you or a loved one were involved in a serious accident with a teen driver, contact us today to see how an experienced New Orleans car accident lawyer can help make you whole again.
What are the main causes of teen crashes?
Just like most other motor vehicle collisions, teen car accidents are often caused by careless or reckless behavior behind the wheel. Here are the top 4 causes of crashes involving teens.
A teen with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08% is over 15 times more likely to get into a fatal accident than a sober teen driver. The numbers paint a grim picture: every 15 minutes, a teen dies in a drunk driving accident. The legal drinking age is 21, so teens shouldn't be under the influence anyway, but as we all know, it happens. If a teen does drink alcohol, they should make alternative plans instead of getting behind the wheel — and parents can help by putting safety first and letting their kids know that they can always get a ride.
Speeding, in particular, is an exceptionally lethal driving habit for teens. As we wrote about in a previous blog post, among all age groups of drivers, teenagers are involved in the most fatal car accidents caused by speeding. According to a Governors Highway Safety Association study that analyzed crash data from 2015 to 2019, "teen drivers and passengers had a greater proportion of speeding-related fatalities (43%) than all other age groups (30%), with 4,930 teen drivers and passengers dying in speeding-related crashes."
Most teens are aware of the dangers of texting and driving, but that doesn't stop some of them from doing it anyway. Statistics show that in 2019, about 40% of high school students admitted to texting or emailing while driving, and in 2020, nearly 10% of drivers ages 15 to 20 involved in deadly car accidents were distracted in the moments leading up to and during the collision. In addition, texting and driving increases the odds of getting into a crash by 6 times, while talking on a cell phone while driving increases the crash risk by 2 times.
Not wearing a seatbelt
Wearing your seatbelt can reduce the odds of sustaining a serious injury in a crash by 50% and reduce the chance of death by 45%, according to the NHTSA. Only about 1% of vehicle occupants wearing their seatbelts are ejected in car accidents, which is critical considering the odds of dying are 3 times higher when you're ejected from a vehicle compared to remaining inside. Of the nearly 2,000 young drivers who died in 2020 traffic crashes, over half (52%) were reportedly not wearing a seat belt.
Whether you were hit by a young person who was driving carelessly or your teen was involved in an accident that was not their fault, negligent drivers who injure others in preventable crashes should be held accountable. Unfortunately, crash victims often face obstacles when trying to make a financial recovery for their losses—but a car accident attorney can help.
Contact a New Orleans car accident lawyer today
If you or someone you love was injured in an accident caused by a teen driver in New Orleans, or if you are the parent of a teenager hurt in a crash that wasn't their fault, experienced legal representation can make a dramatic difference in the outcome of your case. Depending on the specific details of the accident, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your medical bills and other damages. The problem is the insurance company for the at-fault driver will try to pay you much less than what your claim is truly worth—and without a car accident attorney looking out for your best interests, that's exactly what could happen.
In New Orleans, Attorney John S. Williams and his dedicated legal team know how to deal with insurance companies and fight for the compensation crash victims deserve. When you've been injured in a car accident due to negligence, it's important to have an attorney you can trust. Put your trust in the Law Offices of John S. Williams, LLC, and discover what a law firm committed to delivering justice to personal injury victims can do for you.
Your initial case evaluation is completely free, there are no obligations, and you have nothing to lose by discussing the details of your accident with a member of our legal team during a confidential consultation. In addition, we offer legal representation on a contingency fee basis. That means you don't need any money for us to get started on your case, and you pay no fees unless we secure financial compensation on your behalf. Contact us today to learn more about your potential legal options.