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Seat Belt Use and Teen Drivers

Posted on in Car Accidents

Illinois personal injury attorney, Illinois car accident attorney, Illinois wrongful death lawyer,The National Safety Council ("NSC") has reported that auto accidents are the number one cause of death for teenagers in the United States. In fact, the summer season is considered by the NSC to include the "100 deadliest days for teen drivers." Recent studies suggest that the main cause for these heartbreaking fatalities is the absence of seat belt use by young adults. In a study conducted by Safe Kids Worldwide and funded by the General Motors Company, it was discovered that in 2012 over half of the almost 2,500 teens who were killed in car accidents were not wearing seat belts. The automotive accident attorneys here at Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. believe that many of these fatal motor vehicle accidents could have been prevented if teenagers received more education about the importance of seat belts and other precautions.

Safety Precautions for Teenage Drivers and Passengers

Seat belt use could have easily prevented many of the teen fatalities caused by accidents. Evidence suggests that though the number of teen traffic deaths have decreased since they peaked in 2012, the percentage of deaths caused by the absence of seat belts is still at the same level as 2002. Here in Illinois, state law requires that every driver and front seat passenger must wear a fastened seat belt on all streets and highways. Some suggest that harsher seat belt laws should be put in place to prevent such unnecessary fatalities. However, instead of strengthening seat belt laws, another way to increase teen use of seat belts could be to first obtain an understanding of why teens are refraining from seat belt use in the first place. The Safe Kids Worldwide report contained the results of a survey conducted among 1,000 teenagers in-between the ages of 13 to 19 years old. The purpose of this survey was to determine why teenagers are not wearing seat belts, as well as their attitudes towards seat belt use; hopefully the results can be used to formulate tactics that further encourage the consistent use of this safety device.

Other Causes of Teen Auto Accidents

Evidence suggests that another main cause of teen auto accidents involves distractions that avert a teenager's attention from driving. The most common distraction is the use of a cellphone for texting, surfing the internet or making phone calls while driving.

Education may be one of the best ways to prevent teen automotive accidents and fatalities. Such inattention and distraction could be prevented if teenagers felt compelled to wear seat belts and to not engage in other similarly dangerous activity. Teenagers are the ones most at risk for engaging in reckless behavior, yet they often do not consider the long-term impact of their actions. If more teenagers were educated about the fatalities that can occur when not wearing a seat belt and paying attention to the road, this education could save at least a few young lives.

If you have been injured in an auto accident and need assistance, contact an experienced Lake County motor vehicle accident attorney.

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