Number of Auto Accidents Fatalities Involving Teens Peaks Every Fourth of July

Every Fourth of July, statistics show that traffic fatalities spike up to highest levels.

Aside from being accountable for the highest overall traffic fatalities in the country, Independence Day brings with it an average of approximately 140 auto accident deaths every year. It is likewise the deadliest day for both teen drivers and passengers.

In fact, about 10 percent of all fatalities during the Fourth of July are teens, according to the American Automobile Association, Inc. (AAA). Therefore, the agency encourages parents to restrict or at least limit their teens’ driving privileges.

The warning came to light upon the Congressional approval of the transportation bill that would provide financial incentives to states that provide graduated licensing programs.

Comprehensive graduated licensing laws slowly and efficiently educate teens to more complex driving situations, and significantly reduce their accident risk. Incidentally, previous studies have revealed that accidents among teen drivers in states that have a comprehensive graduated license law decreased by up to 38 percent.

On the other hand, Jonathan Adkins of the Governors Highway Safety Association affirmed that Congress has set such strict requirements up to the extent that only few states may qualify for the privileges.

Car accidents involving teenage drivers are now earning serious concerns due to the significant increase from previous years’ figures, which is in fact the first time in eight years that the numbers have become alarmingly high.

Fatal auto accidents involving teens’ record-keeping actually began way back in 1949. In 2011, the lowest number of accident deaths was recorded.

In a study conducted between 2006 and 2010 by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, the U.S. Independence Day ranked first place as the deadliest day of the year, having an average number of 140deaths, followed by September 26 with an average number of 129 deaths. Next is August 2, having an average number of 125 deaths.

Authorities believe that the said increase in traffic fatalities are mainly due to holiday celebrations when school is off, offices are closed, and more people are on the road.  Furthermore, drinking and driving during the nationwide celebration was also seen as another factor to the accidents.

Out of the overall number of traffic fatalities during the Fourth of July, 39 percent of it accounts for drunk drivers, while 31 percent accounts for normal drivers, declared the Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Aside from the poor quality of automobiles due to the rise of aesthetic and entertainment devices in the car, driving under the influence and the lack of comprehensive knowledge on driving are also seen as factors that contribute to the rise in auto accidents during holidays, particularly every Fourth of July. Therefore, several personal injury lawyers appreciate every effort exerted by some organizations and government agencies in reducing the number of traffic fatalities.

New California Bill Increases Fines for Distracted Driving

In a bill drafted by Senator Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, the fine for unlawful use of hand held devices could increase from $20 to $30 dollars.

The said bill, which was approved by the California State Senate last Monday, would increase the current fee of $159 to at least $199 for first offenders once court fees are collected.

For subsequent offense, the fee would increase from $50 to $60 and the actual cost to drivers would increase up to $371 for each additional offense since a driver’s records would also be a factor for additional fees.

The bill would also cover bicyclists. They would be required to pay a $20 fine if they are caught texting or talking while on the road.

The bill aims to fund the driver’s education program aside from preventing further auto-related accidents.

Although lawmakers like Gov. Jerry Brown and Sen. Doug La Malfa, R-Willows, vetoed the said bill, advocates are still pushing for it to become a new law in California.

In a study conducted by the University of California, researchers found out a significant decrease in the number of deaths among drivers using handheld devices in the past two years after the ban on such gadgets was implemented. The number of fatalities, which was 100 a couple of years ago, fell into 53 this year while the number of injuries dropped significantly — from 7,720 to 3,862.

In another survey, 40% of drivers admitted that they have been avoiding cell phones use while behind the wheels since the ban had been enforced.

On the other hand, a Los Angeles auto accident attorney, in reaction with the said survey, agrees with Sen. Simitian that such idea is a good concept not only for avoiding traffic fatalities but also for creating a much closer family ties. Drivers who are prevented from talking to their spouses and other family members would definitely talk a lot of things over family dinner, such as what each of them had missed through the day.