Helping your teenager avoid Kansas car accidents involves more than a single approach. That's a big part of the reason the Kansas Division of Vehicles has a series of graduated driver license requirements for teen drivers.
Recent data from the Kansas Department of Transportation reveals that in 2016, teen drivers were disproportionately represented in statewide crash data. For instance, those in the 15-to-19-year-old age bracket were involved in 11,997 crashes during that time, of which 42 had fatalities and 2,782 resulted in injuries.
By comparison, those in the 40-to-44 age group had a total of 6,728 crashes, 41 fatal and 1,609 causing injury.
Why Young Drivers Are So Crash-Prone
Teen drivers are much more prone to crashes due to several factors including inexperience, distraction - often by smartphones - and the tendency to misjudge the risk of certain driving behaviors.
In 2016, a total of 381 of Kansas' crashes resulted in 429 deaths, with the No. 1 contributing factor being that the driver failed to provide his or her attention to the road. That was cited in 26 percent of all collisions. Other leading causes were right-of-way violations (13.4 percent) and following too closely (10.6 percent).
Exacerbating the problem at the moment is that we are in the midst of the "100 Deadliest Days of Summer," defined as the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when teens are at especially high risk of involvement in serious or fatal crashes. Reasons include lack of a routine schedule, more nighttime driving and increasing likelihood of having other teens as passengers (a top crash risk for young drivers).
Making Sure Teens Drive Safely
We recognize that learning the basics of road safety can be a lot for teens to process. The key points to consider are keeping speed in line with statutory limits and road conditions, never driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, avoiding nighttime driving when possible and limiting driver distraction, such as cell phone use. Parents should help their teens practice with plenty of time in the passenger seat helping to instruct them.
In the event that you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, you should speak to an experienced attorney at Bretz & Young Injury Lawyers and find out how we can help you.