The number of teenage drivers who lose their lives in road accidents is a concern nationwide. According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, 13,683 drivers in the age group 16 to 19 were involved in car accidents within the state last year. The alarming fact is that this is an 8.5 percent increase over the 12,611 teenagers who were involved in wrecks in 2014.
An Oklahoma spokesperson for AAA said that although the graduated license program and the texting ban have proved to be effective, it is evident more will have to be done to get teenagers to be more responsible drivers. It was determined that speeding was the number one cause of teen crashes nationwide. Reportedly, 14,000 fatal car accidents over the past five years involved teenage drivers, and over 4,200 of those crashes involved excessive speed.
The second biggest culprit in teen crashes is texting or other mobile device distractions. Authorities said that although many parents are also guilty of speeding and texting while they are driving, the inexperience of teenagers increases their chances of losing control of their vehicles. It was also noted that young drivers whose parents who spend time practicing and helping them to develop driving skills are less likely to be involved in crashes.
In Oklahoma and elsewhere, teenagers like to travel in groups, and passengers in the car of a speeding driver typically put their lives on the line. Families who have lost children in car accidents caused by the negligence of the drivers retain the right to pursue recovery of damages. By filing a wrongful death claim in a civil court, financial relief may be sought to cover medical and/or end-of-life expenses along with emotional losses sustained. However, before any documented claims are adjudicated, negligence on the part of the driver must be established.