A study, conducted by WalletHub
, found that Illinois was the third safest state for teen drivers in 2014. Illinois' ranking reflects the positive measures the state has taken to combat teen driving deaths. However, motor vehicle accidents
continue to be the leading cause of death
of children between the age of 16 and 19.
Teen Driving: The Dangers
In 2011 alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
found that 292,000 teens between the ages of 16 and 19 were treated in hospital emergency departments across the country for motor vehicle accident-related injuries. Approximately 2,650 teenagers were killed in the same year. This means that seven teens die every day from motor vehicle injuries.
The 16 to 19-year-old age group is the one most at risk to die or be hurt in a car crash. In fact, these youth are three times more likely to be in a fatal car accident than a 20-year-old driver. The chances of being in a fatal car accident increase when a teen driver has passengers in the vehicle. Additionally, teens are at even higher risk of crashing during the first few months of receiving their driver's license.
These numbers are extremely disconcerting considering young drivers only represent 14 percent of the U.S. population, even though they account for more than 30 percent of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries. The numbers are even higher among young males between the ages of 15 and 24.
Young males in the at-risk age group of 16 to 19 years old are at even higher risk of dying from a crash accident. Moreover, the motor vehicle death rate for male drivers and passengers in this age group is twice as high as female teen drivers of the same age.
There are a variety of factors
that contribute to the higher death and accident rate of teenage drivers. Driver experience, driving with friends, nighttime driving, distracted driving, drowsy driving, reckless driving, impaired driving, and driving without seat belts are all major causes of teen accidents.
Illinois' Teen Driving
The WalletHub study
to see what kind of teen driving laws states have in place, the average cost of car repairs, teen drinking and driving numbers, and the overall number of teen drivers in the state. The study found New York to be the safest state with Hawaii in second and Illinois third. Illinois was the safest state in the Midwest with the closest neighboring Midwest state (Kansas) only coming in at 17th. Illinois is also ranked as the second lowest state for teenage under the influence traffic violations.
The study spotlighted the state's Graduated Driver's License Program
—which grants driver's privileges in stages—as a reason for the state's safe driving statistics. The study found Illinois' Graduated Driver Licensing Program to be one of the top in the country. The study lists the following as the optimal provisions needed for an effective graduated driver license program: minimum age of 16 for a permit; six-month holding period; 30-50 hours supervised driving requirements; nighttime driving restriction; passenger restriction; cell phone restriction; and unrestricted license at age 18. Illinois
goes above and beyond these requirements in its graduated driver license program.
While Illinois has proven to be one of the leading states in teen driving safety, it is important to ensure all precautions are taken when allowing a teen to drive. The risk of injury or a fatal accident is too high to ignore.
Contact Our Experienced Car Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, contact one of our experienced DuPage County car accident attorneys
. We will examine your case and help ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve. Reach out to us today at Mevorah Law Offices LLC to see how we can be of assistance.