Car accident prevention and teen driving safety should be on the minds of all parents in Virginia.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. Six teens between the ages of 16 and 19 suffer fatal injuries in motor vehicle crashes each day, the CDC reports.
WalletHub recently ranked the safety conditions for teen drivers in different states. The analysis took into account factors such as driving laws that can make teens safer. Virginia came in at No. 14 on the list.
What Safety Issues Do Teen Drivers Face in Virginia?
As WalletHub points out, teen drivers are responsible for some of the highest financial costs associated with traffic collisions.
In its analysis of teen driver safety across the country, the WalletHub researchers examined a number of different issues that teen drivers face, including but not limited to:
- Cell phone usage behind the wheel
- Nighttime driving inexperience
- Interactions with other vehicle passengers that can distract the driver
- DUIs and underage drinking
- Insurance costs associated with a teen driver policy
- High costs of repairs following a car accident.
How did the researchers assess teen driver safety in each state based on some of these factors? As we mentioned above, the study developed three different categories to in which to assess teen driving safety:
- Safety conditions – The number of teen driver fatalities in the state, the total number of vehicle miles traveled and the quality of the roads in the state
- Economic environment – The maximum cost of speeding and red-light tickets, the insurance premium increase for a teen driver and the average cost of motor vehicle repairs
- Driving laws – Whether the state has specific laws in place to help teen drivers to mature as drivers or which penalize teen drivers for violating traffic laws, including Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) programs.
Virginia rated relatively high in terms of “safety conditions.” The state came in at No. 9 overall. However, Virginia could do better in terms of its “economic environment” (it ranked No. 34) and its “driving laws” (it ranked No. 21).
For instance, Virginia could add more GDL provisions, ensuring that teen drivers in the state are acclimated to the road as best as they can be and develop more experience with nighttime driving and interacting with other passengers.
Virginia could also do more to limit teen driving distractions, especially those connected to cell phone use. For instance, in our law firm’s own Richmond area teen driver survey, nearly all of the teens indicated that they knew that texting while driving is extremely dangerous, yet nearly 60 percent said they continue to text while driving.
While we make plans to improve Virginia’s attention to teen driver safety, parents can also take steps to help limit accidents by relying, for example, on technology which is designed to prevent teen driver accidents or encouraging their teens to use virtual reality devices that show the dangers of distracted driving.
Contact a Richmond Car Accident Attorney
If you have concerns about the laws surrounding teen driving safety in Virginia or if you have questions about filing a car accident claim, an experienced Richmond car accident attorney can assist you. Contact Marks & Harrison today.