With warm, long days and the end of the school year in sight, many teens find themselves looking forward to a summer of rest and relaxation. While this is undoubtedly a fun time of year, Memorial Day also began the “100 deadliest days” on Nevada’s roads.
The number of overall traffic deaths rise during these 100 days, with youngest drivers being impacted most: deaths of teen drivers increase by a whopping 43 percent. Nationally, almost 3,500 teens have been killed in the past five years during the “100 deadliest days” period. Teens are already a particularly vulnerable group on the roads, which is demonstrated through a number of harrowing statistics:
- In their first three years of driving, nearly nine in 10 teen drivers are involved in car crashes.
- The leading cause of death of 15 to 20-year-olds is car accidents.
- One in five of all vehicle passenger fatalities occur when a teen is driving.
- Half of fatal teen driver crashes only involve a single car.
Besides teens’ obvious lack of driving experience, there are a number of factors that contribute to their vulnerability. According to Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) CEO Tina Quigley, some Nevada roads are designed in a way that makes them much more dangerous to commute on: “we have these very wide roads with multiple lanes with posted speeds of up to 55 mph… and yet we also have pedestrian crosswalks and we have lights.” Because of this, drivers can find themselves getting up to the speed limit of 55 mph then having to abruptly stop or slam on the brakes at traffic lights and crosswalks. Together, the combination can be deadly. Proposed solutions to fixing this problem include repairing roads, adding traffic safety features, and constructing new roads.
Teens are also more likely to exhibit dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding, impaired driving, and distracted driving. Parents and guardians who talk to their teens openly about the risks involved can play a critical role in reducing the likelihood that their child will engage in these reckless behaviors.
Following basic car maintenance is another action that parents can take to keep their teen drivers safe, especially because they might not know what to look out for themselves. Showing young drivers how to check their tire pressure, oil level, and keep an eye on tire treads are just some preventative safety measures that can be taken. It is also important to ensure the vehicle is up-to-date on any needed inspections.
If you or a loved one is a victim of a car accident in Nevada, it is important to seek help from an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Steve is the Managing Shareholder of Steven J. Klearman & Associates, a civil litigation law firm located in Reno, Nevada. He practices primarily in the areas of civil litigation and injury law, and has authored one of the definitive guides to Nevada civil law that is widely used by Nevada judges and attorneys, his book entitled Elements of Nevada Legal Theories.