Teen drivers in New Jersey can easily become negligent and reckless, and this leads to an especially high number of fatal car accidents in the summer. It has become so bad, in fact, that the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is often referred to as the “100 deadliest days.” Between 2008 and 2018, this period saw more than 8,300 deaths result from collisions with teen drivers.
In a Traffic Safety Culture Index, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found out how widespread negligent behavior is among teens. Seventy-two percent of drivers aged 16 to 18 admitted to engaging in an unsafe action at least once in the past 30 days with 47% saying they drove 10 miles over the speed limit in a residential area, 40% saying they drove 15 miles over the limit on the freeway and 35% admitting to texting behind the wheel.
Parents can do something about this trend; it begins with talking to their teens about the danger of the above-mentioned forms of negligence as well as others like driving drowsy, aggressively or while impaired and not wearing a seatbelt. There should be a parent-teen driving agreement with rules prohibiting these behaviors. Parents should ideally devote at least 50 hours to in-vehicle coaching with their teen. AAA provides a free guide for this.
It’s up to teens, though, whether they want to drive safe or not. Now, most car accidents in New Jersey can be resolved with both parties seeking compensation from their own insurance company. There are times when the injuries are so severe, however, that personal injury protection cannot cover the expenses. Victims may then have the option of filing a third-party insurance claim: a difficult process that may go much more smoothly if victims have a lawyer on their side.