Institute Seeks To Improve Teen Driving Safety

by | Sep 6, 2013 | Car Accident

The Transportation Research Institute at the University of Michigan studies the links between driver behavior and auto crashes in an effort to make roads and cars safer and to encourage sensible driving policy. The institute’s Young Driver and Behavior and Injury Prevention program is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and national alcohol prevention agencies to prevent accidents involving teens in particular.

The institute is conducting a four-year study to determine how passengers influence young people behind the wheel. The research focuses on how socializing, consuming alcohol and other distractions may increase the likelihood of car crashes among inexperienced drivers. Teens account for a disproportionate share of traffic accidents.

The institute receives funding from federal agencies to reduce the incidence of drunk driving among young drivers. In 2010, 5.8% of 16- and 17-year-olds admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol. Even more alarming, 15.1% of drivers 18-20 and almost a quarter of 21- 25-year-olds said they drink and drive. Drivers ages 21-24 caused 32% of the drunk-driving fatalities in 2011.

AAA published a study last year that found that the rate of fatal accidents involving 16- and 17-year-old drivers went up 44 percent for those who had a passenger under age 21. In the past 11 years, states have adopted graduated driver license programs that restrict teenagers from driving with other young people, and the number of kids killed in such accidents was cut in half.

Oklahoma is one of many states where reducing drunk driving is a priority for safety agencies. There were almost 5,000 alcohol-related auto wrecks in the state in 2012.

Drivers who are drunk, reckless, distracted or aggressive can be held responsible for the deaths and injuries they cause. If you or a loved one has been harmed in a traffic crash, the Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Norman car accident attorneys at Burch, George & Germany, P.C., are in your corner.

Our lawyers have years of experience representing clients in Oklahoma personal injury cases and can help you with your legal matter from start to finish.