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15 Mar

Summer Accidents Rates Soar

Summer Months are the Deadliest for Teenage Drivers

Our Columbus legal team reveals how bad the problem is in Ohio. Car accidents caused by teenagers in Ohio are a serious problem throughout the year. But the summer months, in particular, can be especially dreaded, according to several studies focused on crashes caused by young drivers. 

How Dangerous is Summer for Teen Drivers?

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers 15 to 18 years old, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Each year, more than 2,000 teenagers in that age group die in motor vehicle accidents nationwide. The problem is just as bad in Ohio. While only 4% of drivers in Ohio are teenagers, they account for 15% of all motor vehicle accidents, according to the Ohio Highway Safety Office. “Getting behind the wheel is a huge responsibility.” Governor DeWine stated in an interview with FOX 55 News. “To prevent senseless tragedies and save lives, teen driver safety education will continue to be one of the Ohio State Patrol’s main priorities.” And while car accidents caused by teenagers can happen at any time, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is especially deadly among teen drivers. That’s why AAA refers to this times of year as the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer”

Each year, 30% of deaths caused by teen drivers happen during the summer. Between 2010 and 2019, more than 7,000 people died in a motor vehicle accident involving teen drivers nationwide, according to AAA.

Why Are There More Teen Accidents in Summer? 

There are many reasons why there are more accidents during the summer months caused by teen drivers. Jake Nelson, AAA’s director of traffic safety advocacy and research, said one reason why is “teens tend to have more unconstructed time behind the wheel” during the summer. 

Distracted Driving

About 60% of accidents involving teenage drivers involve distracted driving. Cellphones are a common distraction. However the biggest distraction in the teenage vehicle is other teenagers in the vehicle. The odds of an accident being caused by a teen driver double if another teen passenger is in the vehicle. If there are two or more teen passengers in the car the driver is three times more likely to be in an accident according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institution. 

Seat Belts

Roughly 60% of teen drivers killed in car accidents were not wearing seatbelts, according to one study cited by AAA. That’s probably because seatbelt usage among teenagers is lowest compared to all other groups according to the Center for Disease control. 

Speeding 

Speed is a factor of nearly 30% of motor vehicle accidents involving teenage drivers.

The CDC has identified several other reasons why accidents caused by teen drivers are more common than the rest, such reasons include

  • Driver Inexperience, many teen drivers cannot accurately assess the certain risks of situations on the road due to inexperience, so they are more likely to take regrettable action.
  • Driving at Night, approximately 40% of teen driving deaths occur at night.
  • Drunk Driving, Even though teenagers cannot legally drink, 24% of teenagers who caused fatal accidents were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. 

What Should a Driver Do in an Accident?

If you have been involved in an accident caused by another driver, it’s critical you take certain steps to protect your health and rights. Such steps are as followed:

  • Call the police and ask them to respond to your accident. That way, you will have an official accident report for your crash and there will be no doubt later about exactly what happened.
  • Ask the police to send an ambulance if you or anyone else looks to be seriously injured. Do not try to diagnose yourself, leave it to the medical professionals.
  • Get the other driver’s full name, address, drivers license number, and insurance information.
  • If possible take photos of your accident before the vehicles are moved. Make sure to take photographs of the points of impact, crash debris, nearby traffic signs and anything else that might be significant to your crash.
  • If someone saw your accident, make sure to get their full name and the best phone number to reach them. Impartial eyewitness statements can be very powerful pieces of evidence in support of your claim.
  • Do not discuss the accident with the other driver. Anything you say (even something as simple as “I’m sorry”) could later be used against you. 
  • Schedule a follow up appointment with your doctor. Many accident injuries, including whiplash and concussions take several days to develop. Make sure you have a doctor examine you and diagnose exactly what is wrong. 
  • Call your insurance company and tell them you have been injured in an accident caused by another driver. 
  • Do not talk to the other driver’s insurance company if they contact you. You do not have to talk to them, no matter what they might claim. Anything you say will be put into writing and possibly used against you to claim you at fault. 
  • If the other driver’s insurance company contacts you and makes a settlement offer, carefully consider it before you agree or disagree. Once you accept a settlement offer, you cannot ask for additional money in the future, even if accident related expenses go up significantly due to unexpected medical bills, lost future income or other reasons. Insurance companies know this and often make lowball settlement offers to injury victims that don’t cover all their expenses.
  • Contact a Personal Injury Attorney as soon as possible after your accident. The sooner you speak with an attorney and learn about your different legal avenues and options the better off you are.

Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

Having an experienced attorney on your side after an accident can often make a dramatic difference in the outcome of your case. Instead of insurance companies dictating what happens next, you can demand the attention you deserve and be fairly compensated for your accident related expenses.  The dedicated legal team here at Tompkins Selph & Associates will guide you every step of the way. We have years of experience dealing with car accident claims and as a result we can fight for you and get you the money you rightfully deserve.

Learn more how we can help you with your accident by contacting our law office in Dublin Ohio for a FREE case evaluation right now (614)-453-0971. 

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