The organization, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), recently published their 2014 assessment of state highway laws and whether they match up with their recommended safety laws. According to the report, Georgia has several of the recommended state highway safety laws, but is still in need of stronger regulation. The report recommends laws that would strengthen the safety laws for teenager drivers and an ignition interlock for all offenders of impaired driving laws.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has specifically looked at the risks inherent in teenage driving. The CDC website on motor vehicle safety states that drivers between the ages of 15 and 24 represent 14% of the U.S. population, but make up nearly 30% of the total expenses of motor vehicle injuries. In Georgia specifically, teens make up 8.5% of the drivers in the state, yet drivers aged 15-20 make up 9.5% of the drivers killed and 17% of the drivers injured. According to the CDC, some of the reasons that accidents increase are:
- Teens do not use seat belts as often as other adult drivers,
- Teens are less in-tune with dangerous or hazardous conditions than older drivers, and
- Teens have a higher likelihood of crashing with any level of blood alcohol.
Georgia has implemented some laws that create a Graduated Drivers License system. Georgia has “Joshua’s Law” that requires drivers to become educated about driving if a teen wishes to drive at age 16. Without education, the teen driver must wait till 17 before they can be licensed. Georgia restricts cell phone use and requires a period of supervised driving, but there are no passenger or nighttime restrictions placed upon teens.
The Advocates wrote in their report that states that adopt the Graduated Drivers License systems have an overall crash reduction among teen drivers from 10-30%. They also provide the statistic from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration of a 16-21% decrease in fatal-crash involvement with 16 year old drivers when there’s a mandatory waiting period, a nighttime restriction, and either supervised driving for a minimum of 30 hours or passenger restrictions. They also discuss that text messaging is a prominent issue for distracted teen driving. Nearly half of teens admitted to text messaging while driving, but only 37% saw texting as extremely or very distracting.
Even without all the suggested Graduated Drivers License statutes, teens in Georgia are still under the same obligation as any adult to drive safely and follow the rules of the road. If it can be shown that the teen driver caused an accident while acting negligently by either distracted driving or impaired driving, then they can be held liable for the property and personal damages sustained by the injured. The experienced Georgia motor vehicle accident attorneys at Angell Law Firm are here to help you get the compensation you need following a teen car accident. They know how to navigate through the insurance system and decide what action to take to maximize the money you receive for your injuries and property damage. Call today for a free, confidential consultation at (770) 217-4954.
More Blog Posts:
Understanding the Difference Between Criminal and Civil Assault & Battery in Georgia, Atlanta Accident Attorney Blog, January 15, 2014 & Battery in Atlanta Accident Attorney Blog, January 15, 2014
Taking a Look at Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Georgia in the New Year, Atlanta Accident Attorney Blog, January 8, 2014