Indiana teenagers are more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident than from any other cause of death. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that around 3,000 teenagers die each year in the U.S. in these types of accidents.
There are several reasons this is the case. One is simply a lack of experience. On its own or added to a host of other factors, being an inexperienced driver means being less able to handle hazards when they come up. Inexperience means that teen drivers are more likely to follow another car too closely and have a tendency to not fully understand when they are in danger. These situations can include speeding and driving while intoxicated by alcohol, both of which are often factors in motor vehicle accidents involving teens. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2011, around a quarter of drivers in the 15-20 age group who were involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents had been drinking. Teenage males are more likely to be drinking and more prone to die in these types of accidents.
Making teen driving safer
There is some good news. According to the NHTSA, there was a decline of almost 50% in fatalities among drivers who were 15-20. The graduated driver licensing program, available in all states and the District of Columbia, has also been effective at making teens safer drivers. The AAA reports that in some states, the reduction in personal injury accidents for 16-year-old drivers has been 34%. The program involves three stages in which there is a longer period before teens are allowed to drive without an adult in their car unrestricted.
Even when a motor vehicle accident is not fatal, it can lead to serious injuries. Usually, when a person is injured in a traffic accident, the party or parties that caused the accident are required to pay compensation to the injured individuals. People who are hurt in an accident may want to consult an attorney for help with obtaining this compensation.