Teenage drivers, especially males aged 16-17, are responsible for more untimely deaths than suicide or cancer. Terrifyingly, the statistics for traffic deaths caused by teen drivers skyrocket during the summer. AAA deems the time between Memorial Day and the reopening of school “the 100 deadliest days.”
The simple fact is that more teens are out on the road and driving during the summer, and that results in more crashes. The average number of traffic fatalities goes up 16% in the summer days, resulting in over 1000 deaths in each summer of the last five years. Studies show distractions contribute to nearly 60% of these accidents, with teens particularly susceptible to being distracted by cell phones and other passengers in the vehicle.
Will 2015’s New Teen Driving Restrictions Make a Difference?
New restrictions for teenage drivers took effect on July 1, 2015. These restrictions were aimed specifically at reducing crashes, injuries, and death by focusing on the behaviors and time frames with the highest risk levels. Restrictions include:
- A complete ban on cell phones while driving, including hands-free use;
- Limitations on who can ride in the vehicle with an unsupervised new driver—only siblings, the driver’s children, or the driver’s spouse are allowed during the first six months of driving;
- Driving curfews. For six months, new drivers may not drive between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. after getting their licenses. Between 180 days and the driver’s 18th birthday, the driving curfews are as follows:
- Saturday and Sunday, between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
- Sunday through Thursday, after 11 p.m.
- Monday through Friday, before 5 a.m.
It will be some number of months before data is available to show whether the new restrictions have made a difference, but it is incredibly likely that many lives will be saved. There are still additional steps parents can take to increase the safety of their teen driver this summer. Most importantly, it’s critical to talk to your teens about distractions, drinking and driving, and driving safely. Though the new laws have directly addressed major distractions, drunk driving and speeding still pose major risks for teen drivers.
Especially in Indiana, you should speak with your new driver about the risks on different types of roads. Your teen is likely to drive on freeways, as well as rural roads. Being a good defensive driver and avoiding catastrophic vehicle accidents may require different behaviors depending on the type of road or conditions in which the individual is driving. We may not be able to accelerate our child’s accumulation of experience behind the wheel, but we can provide good insight and education on safe driving in Indiana.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash, the vehicular accident and wrongful death attorneys at Wagner Reese have the experience to help you secure compensation to assist you with your recovery. Whether you have been injured or have lost a loved as a result of the wrongdoing of another driver, you and your family deserve to heal and grieve without undue financial burdens. Please call our offices today at (888) 204-8440 to schedule a FREE consultation.