With the National Teen Driver Safety Week wrapping up, the U.S. Department of Transportation urges parents to continue underscoring the dangers of reckless driving with their teens throughout the year. DOT says car accidents are the number one cause of teenage deaths between 15 and 18 years old in California and across the country. In 2018, 719 teenage drivers lost their lives in crashes, and teen drivers caused over 1,300 deaths of others.

Teens need constant reminding of the rules that will keep them safe. The following are the four greatest dangers for teenage drivers:

  • Drug and alcohol impairment was documented in 16% of teen drivers killed in auto accidents in 2018.
  • Seat belt use is not optional, and almost half of the 2018 teen drivers and passengers who died were not buckled up.
  • Texting and phoning while driving remains a matter of significant concern because one in10 deceased teen drivers in 2018 were distracted by cellphones.
  • Speeding is sometimes part of the excitement of being allowed to drive, and teen drivers must learn that high-speed crashes almost always end in fatalities.

Data also shows that risky driving is more prevalent when teen drivers have multiple passengers in the car. In fact, some say that as many as half of all teens nationwide will be involved in a car accident before graduation. That is a scary statistic, and parents should remind teen drivers in California of the consequences if their negligence causes injuries or deaths to others. Injured teens and the parents of deceased teenagers might have grounds to pursue financial relief through the state’s civil justice system.