Teenagers are among the riskiest types of drivers, because of inexperience and impulsiveness.
In 2013, as many as 2,163 teens in the age group of 16–19 were killed and another 243,243 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents. Six teens in the age group of 16–19 died each day from motor vehicle injuries.
Graduated Driver Licensing Program
It is important to note that young people ages 15-24 comprise only 14 percent of the total population in the United States. However, they account for 30 percent of the total costs of motor vehicle accident injuries among males and 28 percent of the total costs among females. These statistics paint a grim picture and safety experts look for ways to prevent accidents and improve teen safety. (Read – Who are the Riskiest Drivers on Chicago Roadways?)
In Illinois, a person under the age of 18, who violates the night time driving restriction may have his or her driving privileges suspended. This is an important aspect of the state’s Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program. These programs are in place in several states across the nation but a common problem faced by these states is enforcement. Drivers over the age of 18 are allowed to drive at night and are not restricted in the number of passengers they may carry under a specific age. Such restrictions only apply to young drivers that are subject to the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) guidelines.
Experts recommend that a simple and effective way to help police reinforce the provisions of the GDL program is to make it necessary for applicable drivers to display a decal indicating their status. In 2010, New Jersey became the first state to make such decals compulsory. Research has shown that the decal program has a positive impact on teen driver safety.
A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that crash rates for teen drivers was reduced significantly in the two years following the implementation of the decal provision. The study indicated that for 17 year-old drivers, the rate of car accidents decreased by 13.3 percent, and for 19 year-old drivers, the rate decreased by 8.5 percent. The decreasing accident rates were also accompanied by an increase in the number of traffic citations issued for violations of the GDL rules.
Reducing Teen Fatalities
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle accidents are the top cause of death among teenagers. In spite of initiatives to prevent teen driving accidents, accident rates remain high. The fatality rate among drivers in the age group of 16-19 years is three times that of older drivers. In view of this, traffic experts believe that decals can be a step in the right direction to reduce teen driving accidents and fatalities.
Chicago Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured by a negligent driver, consult with a Chicago car wreck lawyer. Call Willens Law Offices at (312) 957-4166 for a free consultation.