Charleston car accident injury statistics have shown time and again that younger drivers cause more serious injuries and death than older drivers in South Carolina. Anyone can go to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety for the latest numbers of car accidents that have caused injuries and fatalities. Sometimes it is best to place a human face onto the spreadsheets and reports to add texture and reality to what this really means to us all as drivers.
The item.com has done so in its recent article discussing younger drivers. The article tells the story of numerous teenage drivers like 17 year old William Cribb, Jr, and 14 year old Patrick Miller who both died in separate car crashes. Both of their serious accidents involved young drivers at the wheel and both resulted in deaths as well as serious injuries in South Carolina to at least three other passengers. William flipped his truck after he ran it off the shoulder of a well known highway called U.S. 521. Patrick was a passenger in a car and was ejected upon impact. Neither of the two young men were wearing seat belts.
According to South Carolina government statistics, nearly 2,000 people died by drivers between the ages of 15-24 in the past five years alone. While 92 drivers died in car crashes, another 180 sustained injuries in these accidents. The article cited drinking and driving accidents, speeding, cell phone use and text messaging among young drivers as major contributors to their car accidents. Statistics say that teen drivers are much more likely to speed in their vehicles than older more experienced drivers. The article notes as one compelling fact that a driver is almost 6 more times likely to cause or be involved in an accident if he or she drives just 25 percent above the speed that an average driver would travel. Also, smartmotorist.com reports that even a small increase in speed, say 5 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, can be as dangerous as driving at a very high rate of speed, say 100 miles per hour. Importantly, some 90 percent of drivers in the United States will speed in their vehicles at some point in their life. Importantly, those traveling in cars are 4 times more likely to survive an automobile accident if they are wearing their seat belt.
Families of Highway Fatalities, was formed by the mother of who lost her son to a fatal car crash. The group offers support to families who have also lost family members and friends in car wrecks that have resulted in death.
The bottom line is that younger drivers are less experienced and more easily distracted. We should require tougher laws on cell phone use while driving, enact tougher driving under the influence laws and promote more mandatory training for new drivers, no matter what their age. In the meantime, we can all help ourselves by wearing seat belts.
Source: theitem.com, Slowing Down, buckling up keeps teens safe, July 19, 2009