California Has 2nd Most Crashes Involving Young Drivers Over the Last Decade
A San Jose car accident attorney looks at the reasons why
According to a new study that analyzed crash data from the last decade, 1 out of every 8 fatal crashes involved a young driver. Car accidents are the second leading cause of teen death in the U.S.
The situation is worse in California. On a national scale, our state has the second most crashes involving young drivers.
During the time period studied (2010-2019), there were 3,617 fatal accidents involving people ages 15 to 20 in the state, according to a report by Valuepenguin.
Why are young drivers in so many fatal car accidents?
There are multiple reasons why young people get into fatal car accidents more than any other age group in the U.S.
Overall, studies say the increase may be due to young people's inexperience, immaturity, and heightened tolerance for risk. This makes them unable to spot and adjust to hazards as well as adults.
Over the last 10 years, the number of fatal accidents involving drivers ages 15-20 in California has ranged from 326 to 448 per year.
Major factors in these crashes include speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, time of day (nighttime), and passengers (the more young passengers in the vehicle, the more likely a young driver is to speed or do something else reckless).
Efforts to reduce fatal crashes in California
California has taken action to address the problem, but it's not clear that all efforts are producing enough of an effect.
Among the state's countermeasures are driver improvement and education programs, special licenses, and a graduated license process that includes a driving curfew and passenger limits. In a graduated license program, for instance, the restrictions are lifted as the driver improves or hits benchmarks.
A study by the California Department of Motor Vehicles weighed the success of these programs. Measures effective in reducing fatal teen car accidents include graduated licenses, driver curfews, and passenger limits. Education and improvement programs were not effective, according to the study.
Meanwhile, fatal crashes involving young drivers have increased in California by 8% over the last 10 years, the national study says.
Common injuries in teen crashes
Fatal accidents involving young drivers are a problem in California, but accidents that result in severe and debilitating injuries also happen here too. The most common types of car accident injuries for young drivers include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including concussions.
- Spinal cord injuries that cause partial or permanent paralysis.
- Broken bones and fractures (e.g., skull, wrist, ulna, radius, tibia, and fibula)
- Whiplash and other neck injuries.
- Burns, scrapes, cuts, and punctures
- Facial trauma and disfigurement
After any bad car accident, it's important to seek immediate medical attention—even if you're not experiencing any noticeable pain or symptoms at the crash scene. Some injuries might take days, weeks, or longer to become apparent. If left untreated, your condition could worsen. You can never be too careful when it comes to your health and wellbeing, which is why you should get checked out by a doctor if you've been involved in a crash.
A car accident lawyer can help you get on the road to recovery
If you were injured in an accident that wasn't your fault, you can contact The Swanson Law Group to get a clear understanding of your legal rights and options. That way, you can make an informed decision on the best way to move forward with your potential legal case.
To find out how we might be able to help you, schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced San Jose car accident lawyer. There are no obligations, and we work cases on contingency. That means you pay no legal fees unless we win your case. It's that easy.
Contact us today.