It is natural to be worried about teens who have just gotten their driver’s license in Virginia. Their inexperience is one challenge they will face. Others include the lack of judgment that comes with the slow process of maturing into adulthood, vulnerability to distraction and tendency to take unnecessary risks. Auto accidents are a major fear for parents of teen drivers. The recent statistics show that it is justified. Since crashes can cause so many problems for everyone involved, it is imperative to know what to do in the aftermath.
Virginia State Police say teen fatalities rose by more than half in 2021
Teen fatalities had a troubling increase in 2021. Virginia State Police said that there was a rise of 56% in 2021 compared with 2020. This has long been a problem as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the second most prevalent reason for teen fatalities is an auto accident. The most recent numbers for 2022 are through August and the dangers have not subsided. Fifty-six teens were killed through the first eight months of the year. There were more than 500 serious injuries.
Safety advocates have taken notice of the numbers and are trying to educate teens about the chance of injuries and death with guidance on prevention. Teens are encouraged to remember the importance of wearing their seatbelts. This was cited as a factor in nearly half of the deaths of people between 16 and 19 in 2019. The Automobile Association of America (AAA) reports that new teens on the road have triple the chance of a fatal accident than adults do.
Addressing the long-term consequences of an auto accident may require legal assistance
Although the focus has been on teens, everyone is vulnerable. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that in 2021, fatal crashes were the worst in 20 years. When there is an auto accident, it is important for those who have been hurt or lost a loved one to think about the future. That includes understanding how to recover compensation. Part of that is knowing the cause of the accident, whether it was a teen driver, what they might have been doing at the time of impact and more. Consulting with professionals can provide information with what steps to take.