Fatal car accidents among teenage drivers in Nevada appear to be on the rise again, according to data from the Nevada Department of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety division. In 2018, there were 34 traffic fatalities among drivers aged 20 or younger, which followed a decline in 2017 down to only 25.
2018 is the most recent year of complete crash data due to expected delays with gathering reliable information and studying it. 2019 and 2020 could have seen better crash rates, but the upward trend and a nationwide increase in distracted driving likely will say otherwise when that data is completed.
The increase in fatal teenage driving accidents follows a multiyear low in 2010 when there were only 23 such reports across Nevada. The highest point recorded recently by the OTS was in 2006 when there were 71 such fatal accidents involving young drivers. Between 2012 and 2016, the number held somewhat steady between 30 and 40 before it dropped in 2017. With a 9-point rise in 2018, hopes that a downward trend would begin has been waylaid.
What is Causing Fatal Teenage Driving Accidents?
There are many theories regarding what is causing the newly observed and predicted increase in fatal teenage auto accidents. However, a leading theory pins some of the blame on the advent of smartphones becoming practically a necessary personal item. The iPhone debuted in 2007, but the popularity of it and its competitors became significant around 2010 and 2011. It is perhaps no coincidence that 2011 was the first year that the upsetting uptick in fatal accidents began.
The gradual increase of total drivers on the streets of Nevada could also be a factor in the increase of fatal teenage driving accidents. There is always an inherently higher risk of a crash when there are more drivers on the road, especially when more of those drivers are not prioritizing safety or have little driving experience.
(To learn more about Nevada’s crash data for all sorts of topics, not just those regarding teenage drivers, you can click here to view the Nevada Highway Safety Plan FY 2020 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.)
What Can You Do to Stop Teenage Driving Accidents?
As a parent of a teenager who is beginning to drive, you have an important role to teach them safe driving behaviors. Teens often do not give adequate attention to driver’s education courses, and they could be encouraged to drive dangerously by their own friends. It is often up to parents to set a good example and find ways to enforce safe driving rules.
There are many driving safety apps that you can download to your teen child’s phone. Such apps are usually designed to lock and/or silence the phone when it detects the user is driving. Each week that your child exhibits safe driving habits based on the app’s report can be a week that ends in a celebration, like a pizza and a movie night. Using your creativity and parental knowledge, there is sure to be a way you can encourage your child to do what is right and drive responsibly.
From all of us at the Law Offices of Steven J. Klearman & Associates in Reno, we wish you and your family safe travels always. In the tragic event that your teenager is hurt while driving due to someone else’s mistakes, please remember that you can always call us at (775) 573-0229 to schedule a consultation with our auto accident attorneys. We are here to be your legal guides and moral supporters.