Teen Driving and Bad Weather
Wet roads, limited visibility, black ice, and high winds are only a few weather-related factors that increase the risk of car accidents. There are approximately 6 million vehicle crashes each year in the United States. Over 24%–nearly 1, 440,000–are weather-related, killing nearly 6,000 people and injuring up to 690,000 people.
Research shows that rain is the leading cause of weather-related crashes (46%) and weather-related injuries (52%) in the United States. Living in rainy Seattle, it is important to remember that wet roads contribute to 73% of weather-related crashes and 80% of weather-related injuries, so drive with caution! For areas that experience wintery conditions, snow contributes to 17% of weather-related crashes and 13% of weather-related injuries. In addition, 13% of weather-related crashes and 9% of weather-related injuries can be attributed to icy roads.
Statistics prove that the leading cause of teenage deaths in the U.S. is car accidents, most often a result of distracted driving, speeding, and driver error. These factors plus adverse weather conditions and lack of driving experience make teens especially susceptible to weather-related accidents. Yet, 70% of parents allow their newly licensed teens to drive in bad weather. Ideally, it’s safest to have teens avoid driving in adverse weather, but if this isn’t possible, it is critical for families to make sure their teen drivers are educated in the proper techniques for driving during inclement weather.
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