Fatal car accidents involving teenagers are on the way down in Colorado, but they remain the leading cause of death for teenagers and tweens in the U.S.
According to a 6-year study conducted by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., t he most dangerous situation leading to fatal teenager car accidents appears to be driving without a seatbelt on high-speed roads before acquiring sufficient experience. Also factors such as day of the week, gender and presence of alcohol can point to higher risks: a male teenager driving on the weekend under the influence of alcohol is a recipe for disaster.
But there’s some good news on this bleak subject: teenager car accident deaths are on their way down in Colorado, dropping by more than a third in 2007.
The Colorado Department of Transportation reports that 43 teenagers were killed in Colorado auto accidents last year. This is a significant reduction from Colorado’s high of 107 in 2002. Officials are saying that this can be credited to several factors like the passing and subsequent strengthening of Colorado’s Graduated Drivers Licensing laws, safe-driving education programs for teens and parents, as well as enforcement of seat-belt laws.
But it’s still not enough. Many of these fatalities could have been prevented if the teenager had worn a seatbelt. Of the 43 teens drivers and passengers killed in Colorado last year, 63 percent were not wearing seat belts.
Aside from the risks, Colorado law imposes penalties for not wearing a seatbelt. Drivers under 18 can be pulled over for not wearing a seat belt, and anyone in a car driven by a motorist under 18 must wear a seat belt, according to Colorado law. For each person not wearing a seat belt, the teen driver faces two points against his or her license and can lose the license after only six points.
Often receiving less attention are the many teenage drivers who do drive responsibly. If you have lost a loved one in a fatal car or truck accident, you may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the party at fault. Submit your case details here for a free case screening by The Babcock Law Firm.