Automobile accidents are the biggest factor in teen wrongful deaths. Car accident lawyers believe that those fatality numbers could drop if more states, including Georgia adopted stronger teen driver graduated driver licensing programs. A new survey indicates that such programs have strong support.
The survey by Allstate Insurance involved more than 1,000 adults, and tried to determine their reaction to the pending Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection Act (STANDUP). This legislation would set strict standards for driver’s licensing programs, and would also set uniform guidelines for graduated driver’s license programs. As things currently stand, there is no single uniform federal standard that states have to meet while developing graduated driver’s licensing programs.
As a result, different states have different rules, and while some states have implemented necessary rules like restricting the number of passengers that teenagers can have while on a provisional driver’s permit, other states have rules that are too lax to keep teenagers safe or inculcate good driving practices.
In the survey, 59% of respondents said that they were in favor of implementation of a three-step licensing program for teenage drivers. Additionally, more than 60% of the respondents were in favor of stronger restrictions on teenagers, like driving at night or with teenage passengers. There was also tremendous support for banning the use of cell phones while driving for teenagers. More than 80% of the respondents were in favor of a ban like this that would reduce the number of accidents caused by distractions.
There is also strong support for raising the minimum age when a teenager can obtain a provisional learner’s permit. Approximately 76% of the people in the survey supported raising the minimum age at which a person can get a learner’s permit, to eighteen. In Georgia, a teenager can receive a learner’s permit at the age of fifteen.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Motor vehicle accidents account for more than one in three teenage deaths every year. In 2009, there were 8 teenage accident-related fatalities every day. Teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 are not just more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident, but were also four times as likely as older drivers to be involved in an accident. In 2009, more than 3,000 teenagers in the United States were killed in motor vehicle accidents. These teenagers were aged between 15 and nineteen years. Additionally, more than 350,000 teenagers were injured in accidents.
Some teenagers are at a much higher risk of accidents than others. For instance, male teens seem to be involved in more accidents and have higher motor vehicle death rates. Teenagers driving with teen passengers in the car may also be at a much higher risk of accidents. In fact, the risks of an accident increase in proportion to the number of passengers in the car. A teenager is also much more likely to be involved in an accident in the first year after receiving a driver’s license.