Teen driver accident rates tend to be higher in the summertime than the rest of the year. With kids out of school or home from college, teens have more opportunities to be out and about on Utah highways. If you’ve been involved in a crash involving a teenager, you still have the same right to seek compensation for your losses. An experienced Utah car crash lawyer from Swenson & Shelley can help.
Alarming Trends: Utah’s Ranking in Fatal Crashes Caused by Teen Drivers
The state of Utah ranks the second highest in the country for teen driver accidents, according to a recent study involving teen driver crash trends in Utah and other states. One positive note from the ten-year study is that fatal collisions dropped nine percent from 2010 to 2019, although teen drivers are a persistent threat on the roads.
The Utah Department of Public Safety (UDPS) presents several startling facts about teen drivers in one recent year:
Over 22 percent of all crashes in Utah involved a teenage driver.
Crashes involving teen drivers resulted in over eleven percent of the deaths from all motor vehicle crashes.
Over 15,000 teen drivers were involved in a crash.
Utah isn’t alone in seeing more teen driver fatalities in the summer. Across the country, about half of all fatalities in teen-driver crashes happen in the summertime, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAA).
Understanding the Increase in Teen Driver Fatal Crashes During Summer
What’s the reason for higher numbers of teen driver summer accidents? Lack of experience behind the wheel is one of the main reasons for teen driver accidents overall. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that a few other factors may contribute to this increase, including the following:
Less supervision of teens going to work or visiting friends
More friends in the car with teen drivers
Risky driving by teens, like tailgating, speeding, and abruptly changing lanes
Parents can play a pivotal role in promoting teen driving safety, from close supervision to ensuring their children adhere to Utah’s graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws.
The Role of Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) in Summer Safety
Utah’s graduated driver licensing laws help new drivers safely build experience without exposing them to potentially high-risk conditions for a collision. These laws give teen drivers increasing responsibility behind the wheel. For instance, anyone fifteen and older may apply for a learner’s permit, but they can drive only with a supervising adult in the car. Furthermore, any driver under eighteen must log at least 40 hours of supervised driving, ten of which must be at nighttime.
Utah requires drivers to be at least sixteen years old before applying for a driver’s license. Applicants who have never held a license (i.e., new drivers, not those moving from another state) must pass a driver’s education course and show they have completed the supervised driving requirements. The GLD laws also restrict who can travel with teen drivers and impose a teen night-driving curfew.
Distracted Driving Epidemic – A Major Risk for Teen Drivers
Teen driver distractions are one of the chief causes of teen crashes in Utah, posing a danger to everyone on the road. If you’ve been harmed in a crash caused by a distracted teen driver, you can seek compensation for your losses. Contact Swenson & Shelley today for a free consultation with a Utah car accident attorney.