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Teen Driving-Distraction is Greatest Factor For Teen Driver Crashes

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Gerry Oginski
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A new study of New York State driving records blames distraction for causing the most young driver crashes. In 2007 and 2008, the leading cause of crashes for drivers 16-20 years old was speeding. In 2009 (the latest year of available data), driver distraction overtook speeding as the leading cause. For teens 16-17, the main factor was failure to yield right of way, followed by driver inattention. Still, these drivers were more likely to be ticketed for speeding in 2009 than for cellphone use, compared with the overall average. This inverse relationship between summonses and the causes of car crashes might hint at a cause-and-effect relationship.

Alcohol involvement has declined to 1% of injurious or fatal crashes among 16-17 year olds in 2009 from 1.5% in 2007. For 16-20 year olds, the figure went down from 2.3% in 2007 to 1.9% in 2009. For the general driving population, the figure dropped from 4% to 3.5%. Controlling for fatal crashes however -- ignoring simply injurious crashes -- finds that alcohol contributes to far more teen deaths than for the general driving population. 77% of fatal victims of young drivers also died because they were not wearing a seat belt.

Drivers between 16-20 were 3.5 times more likely to suffer an accident due to inexperience than general population drivers. In an effort to stem this trend in 2010, new state laws were passed to require 50 hours, instead of 20 hours, of supervised driving to apply for a license.

As a practicing medical malpractice, wrongful death, and personal injury attorney in New York, I deal with accidents like these every day. If you would like more information about how negligence and accident cases work in the state of New York, I encourage you to explore my educational website. If you have legal questions,  I urge you to pick up the phone and call me at 516-487-8207 or by e-mail at [email protected] to answer your questions. That's what I do every day. I welcome your call.

Category: Car Accidents

Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer

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