Getting a driver’s license is an important rite of passage for most teens. It allows them a greater sense of independence, freeing them from having to rely on mom or dad for rides. Unfortunately, it also exposes them to certain risks. Teenage drivers have one of the highest rates for car accidents in Portland and the injuries they suffer have a tendency to be severe. These accidents tend to increase over the summer months, which is the deadliest time of year for teen crashes.
Teen Car Accident Risks
Most teenagers eagerly anticipate being able to drive but few realize the dangers it poses to them or other motorists. According to statistics from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODAT), teens are among those most at risk for car accidents in Portland, which can result in serious and potentially life threatening injuries not only for them, but for their passengers and others on the road.
Lack of experience is one of the biggest factors in these crashes. Unlike their older counterparts, teen drivers are less likely to know how to respond to sudden changes in road, traffic, and weather conditions. They are also more likely to make dangerous driving errors and their general lack of maturity can lead them to take more risks. Teens are more likely to engage in reckless driving behaviors, such as:
- Speeding and going too fast for conditions;
- Racing other motorists;
- Running red lights and disregarding other traffic signals;
- Tailgating, failure to yield, and other aggressive driving behaviors;
- Distracted driving, which includes cell phones and texting as well as talking to passengers in the vehicle;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
100 Deadliest Days of Summer
With teenagers off from school over the summer months, they tend to spend more time on the road traveling to work and hanging out with friends. As a result, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is one of the most dangerous times of year for teen car accidents. Through a national campaign known as the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer, safety officials hope to raise awareness of the risks.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) states that parents are the first line of defense in preventing teen car accidents. In addition to modeling safe driving behavior for teens, ways they can protect them and other motorists they encounter include:
- Restrict driving at night and on weekends, when most teen accidents occur;
- Set limits on the number of passengers teens are allowed to have in their vehicle;
- Make agreements to prevent distracted and impaired driving;
- Withhold driving privileges if they get a ticket or are involved in even a minor crash.
Let Us Help You Today
At the Johnston Law Firm P.C., we help people who suffer car accident injuries get the compensation they need to recover in a claim. To discuss your options, reach out and call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland car accident attorneys online to request a consultation today.