It’s Back-to-School Time – Will Teenage Driving Accidents Increase?

By Staff Attorney
The Gasper Law Group, PLLC

Young woman applying makeup, talking on the phone and drinking coffee while driving. Seatbelt not attached.

Could this be your daughter driving to school?

Early Starts

Early starting times in high school are linked to an increase in teenage motor vehicle accidents. High schools with early starting times experience a 25 percent higher rate of weekday automobile accidents involving students than schools starting later, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Most teens do not receive sufficient sleep, and getting up very early to go to school exacerbates the problem.

Teens Transporting Teens

When teens drive with other teens as passengers, the likelihood of a crash greatly increases. The National Safety Council reports that teen driving with same-age passengers increases the risk of a fatal accident by 44 percent.

Under Colorado law, teens with a new license aren’t permitted to drive with any passengers under age 21 for the first six months, unless a parent or other licensed adult driver is in the vehicle. After the initial six months, a teenager may have one passenger under age 21 with them in the vehicle without supervision. Make sure your teen doesn’t flout this law.

More Distractions

Inexperienced drivers are more easily distracted. Add cell phones and texting into the mix, and it’s a recipe for disaster. Colorado law prohibits teens under 18 from using a cell phone while driving. If caught, the teen driver risks losing the license. Make sure your child understands importance of avoiding distractions while driving. This article in Family Circle offers sound tips for teaching your teen how to avoid this scary and entirely preventable hazard.

Take the Bus

Obtaining a driver’s license is not as crucial to today’s teens as it was for previous generations. In 2014, fewer than 25 percent of 16 year olds had driver’s licenses, a nearly 50 percent decline from 1983 numbers. Most teens eventually receive their licenses, but if your teenager doesn’t mind taking the bus or other form of public transportation, consider taking him or her up on the offer.

If your teenager has been involved in an automobile accident, you may need the services of an experienced attorney to obtain justice and fair compensation. Contact the Gasper Law Group today at 719.227.7779 for a free consultation.