Researchers consider the summer months the deadliest on the road for the entire year and this is a significant concern for Minnesota drivers. Part of that is due to the inevitable increase in the number of teens who are behind the wheel once school is out. The summer months are referred to as the “100 deadliest days” and spans from Memorial Day to Labor Day. In Minnesota and its neighbor Wisconsin, around one-third of the fatal crashes in both states happened during this time-period. There are several factors that are viewed as a factor in this.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 have three times the chance to be a fatal auto accident than drivers who are 20 and above. For teens, a car accident trails only suicide for the most common reason for death. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that the number of accidents with teens increased by more than 10 percent in 2015 when compared to 2014. There are many reasons for this including the belief that younger drivers are lacking experience, tend to be more reckless, and engage in behaviors like texting and driving that lead to being a distracted driver.
AAA conducted a study that indicates that six out of every 10 accidents involving a teen had distracted driving as a factor. In 2015, teens made up 6.2 percent of the licensed operators in Minnesota, but were in 16.4 percent of the accidents. There were more than 500 fatalities in an accident with teens in the decade from 2006 to 2015. More than 1,900 had serious injuries. The two states have taken steps to try and reduce the number of accidents involving teens. Each limited the number of passengers teens can have. Driving at nighttime and in the early morning hours is limited. Teens are not allowed to use handheld devices while driving. Steps have also been taken to teach parents about the dangers teens face on the road.
While these attempts have reduced the number of crashes involving teens, the statistics show that the rate of car accidents in these states is still above the national average. Drivers who are sharing the road with teen drivers must be cognizant of the dangers they face. Medical costs, lost time at work, and fatalities can result from an auto accident. To receive compensation after a crash, it is vital to have a full investigation from the victim’s perspective and assistance in pursuing a legal claim from a qualified legal professional.
Source: republican-eagle.com, “Teen driver crash rates remain above average in Minnesota and Wisconsin,” Youssef Riddad, June 23, 2017