There are over a dozen deadly teen driver crashes per year in New Jersey.
Summer is a time for relaxation, vacations, and spending quality time with family and friends. However, it is also a time when we witness a troubling trend: A surge in teen driver fatalities during what is known as the "100 Deadliest Days." This period, spanning from Memorial Day to Labor Day, has consistently shown an increase in fatal car accidents involving teenage drivers across the U.S.
New Jersey has the country's second lowest rate of teen driver deaths - 0.69 per 100,000 licensed drivers. Researchers say this is partly due to New Jersey teens frequently using safety belts and taking public transportation. However, fatal accidents still happen here. There are about 15 teen driver fatalities in New Jersey every year.
On average, half of all fatal teen crashes happen during summer months - and the situation is getting more dangerous. Nationwide in 2021, summertime fatal teen crashes increased by 6% over the prior year. They're up 25% compared to 2019.
Factors in fatal teen crashes
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the "100 Deadliest Days" pose a significant threat as the warm weather, extended daylight hours, and the absence of school-related responsibilities create an environment conducive to increased driving activity. Several factors contribute to the rise in accidents during the summer months. One major factor is distracted driving. With more leisure time and an inclination to socialize, teens often engage in activities that divert their attention from the road. Texting, talking on the phone, interacting with passengers, or using in-car technology can significantly impair their ability to react to sudden hazards.
Additionally, speeding and reckless driving are common causes of fatal accidents involving teenagers. The excitement of summer and peer pressure can lead to a disregard for traffic laws and safe driving practices. Inexperience and not understanding of the consequences of their actions further exacerbate these risks.
Steps to reduce the risk of deadly teen driver accidents
Teen driver fatal accidents are devastating for families and communities. In January, Bloomfield experienced this tragedy first-hand when a 16-year-old Glen Ridge teen died in a single-car Brookdale Park accident. We can all take proactive measures to reduce traffic risks and protect young drivers. Here are some steps that can be taken:
- Raising awareness. Parents, schools, and community organizations can play a pivotal role in educating teen drivers about the dangers of distracted driving, speeding, and reckless behavior. Ongoing driver's education programs and discussions about responsible driving can help raise awareness and promote safer habits.
- Parent involvement. Parents who set clear rules, such as limiting the number of passengers or enforcing a curfew, can help reduce distractions and encourage responsible behavior.
- Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL). New Jersey's GDL program is designed to provide young drivers with gradual exposure to driving privileges. Ensuring compliance with GDL requirements and restrictions can contribute to safer driving habits.
- Technology. Utilizing technology such as smartphone apps or in-car devices - like lane assist and forward collision warning - as well as those that monitor driving behavior can help parents and guardians track their teen's driving habits and address any concerns or areas for improvement.
Legal help for New Jersey car accident victims
The 100 Deadliest Days are a concerning time for everyone on the road, especially teen drivers and their families. Raising awareness and promoting safe driving practices can help reduce the risks and prevent tragic accidents. However, despite precautions, accidents can still occur.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in New Jersey, it is important to seek legal assistance right away to protect your rights and understand your potential legal options. At Shebell & Shebell, LLC, our experienced New Jersey car accident attorneys are here to support you and help you find your way forward.
We understand the complexities of New Jersey personal injury law and will fight for the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in Newark, NJ, Shrewsbury, NJ, or the surrounding area, contact Shebell & Shebell, LLC for a free consultation.