Floral Park Lawyer–Car Accident Highlights Need to Raise Driving Age

Car accident

In 2011 the death of nine-year-old Andrew Burrous , who was struck on the sidewalk in his Floral Park, NY, neighborhood by a 16-year-old driver, has highlighted the risks young teen drivers present when they get behind the wheel. Here at the offices of Goldstein and Bashner, we have seen too many car accident cases caused by teens, mainly because they lack the experience and maturity to understand the risks of driving, foresee potential dangers on the road ahead, and make life-saving snap decisions in the face of unexpected events or circumstances. We don’t let 16- and 17-year-olds drink, buy guns, or smoke cigarettes. What makes anyone think they should be in control of one of the most deadliest weapons, a car?

The statistics for the youngest teen riders on the road are staggering:

  • One out of every five licensed 16-year-old drivers will be in a vehicle crash (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety).
  • In 2009, eight teens ages 16 to 19 died every day from motor vehicle injuries. Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely than older drivers to crash.
  • Between 1995 and 2004, there were 30,917 fatalities in accidents that involved 15-to-17-year-old drivers (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety)
  • The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a report in May 2012 that showed that the risk of 16- or 17-year old drivers being killed in a crash increases with each additional teenage passenger in the vehicle. The risk increases 44 percent with one passenger; it doubles with two passengers, and quadruples with three or more passengers. The study analyzed crash data and the number of miles driven by 16- and 17-year olds.
  • In 2012, teenagers accounted for 8 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths.
  • Teenagers far exceed all other age groups in terms of per capita deaths relating to vehicle crashes, both as drivers and passengers (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety).

The issues we have seen with teen drivers relate both to their young age–risk-taking behavior, dangerous speeding and thrill-seeking stunts, peer pressure–as well as their lack of experience, decision making skills, psychomotor skills, and their perception of hazards.

In 2010, New York introduced graduated driver licensing (GDL) systems that put stricter restrictions on 16- and 17-year-old drivers, including how many passengers they could have, an increase in supervised driving hours before getting licensed, and the elimination of the junior learner’s permit. But do these requirements go far enough? The 16-year-old girl that hit and killed Burrous was legally on the road with her parent in a highly trafficked and populated neighborhood. This is not necessarily the place to learn at age 16 how to drive as it puts every other driver, pedestrian, and biker at risk.

Adrian Lund, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, has said that though raising the driving age is “a tough sell…The bottom line is that when we look at the research, raising the driving age saves lives.”

We don’t think it’s unreasonable to wait until kids have a little more life experience and finish high school before being allowed on the road. It may be inconvenient to parents who don’t want to carpool their kids around, but studies have shown that raising the age will save lives.

Have You or Someone You Love Been Injured in a Car Accident?
Car accidents can cause serious injuries, including whiplash, neck and spinal injuries, broken bones, and head injuries. Victims often find themselves with large medical bills and sometimes are left unable to do their job. Insurance agents will try to minimize damages. If you have been severely injured in a car accident in New York, it is important to have a lawyer with your best interests at heart who knows how to deal with the insurance agents.

Contact Goldstein and Bashner Today
Contact the accident lawyers at Goldstein and Bashner are experienced handling car accidents and can help you get the maximum compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation and we will sit down with you to discuss your case, answer all your questions, and let you know what to expect from the legal process.

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