Distracted driving and teenagers

Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens around the country, and the problem seems to be getting worse despite huge leaps in automobile safety technology. Government data shows that traffic accident fatality rates across all age groups shot up by more than 7 percent in 2015 after falling steadily for almost a decade, and the death rate among teens grew by an even more alarming 10 percent. Almost one in 10 of the teens killed on the roads in 2015 lost their lives in a distracted driving crash, and safety organizations around the country were bringing attention to the issue during National Teen Driver Safety Week that took place in October in West Virginia and around the country.

During that week, science-based presentations dealing with the dangers of distracted driving were held at schools and colleges across the country. Researchers with the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety have determined that distraction is a factor in about half of the serious accidents involving teens, and many safety experts say that it is up to parents to set a good example and never use their cellphones while behind the wheel.

Safety groups also covered a number of other issues during National Teen Driver Safety Week. The 2015 federal motor vehicle accident statistics showed increases in the number of road deaths caused by speeding, impairment and drivers not fastening their safety belts, and teens across the country were reminded that reckless behavior on the roads can quickly lead to tragedy.

Accidents involving teen drivers can be challenging for personal injury attorneys seeking compensation for those who have suffered serious injuries. Juries sometimes have sympathy for younger defendants, and teens may not have the financial resources necessary to pay significant damages. However, in some cases their parents can be held financially responsible under the family car doctrine.

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