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Summer means more teen car crashes

The summer is a deadly time for teen drivers in New Jersey and across the United States. According to a AAA study, statistics show that approximately 1,000 people will die in car crashes involving teen drivers between Memorial Day and the start of the new school year. That number represents a 16 percent increase in deaths compared to other times of the year.

Based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, AAA discovered that an average of 1,022 people were killed in accidents with teen drivers during "the 100 deadliest days" of summer over each of the last five years. Another study of crash data from dash-camera videos found that 58.5 percent of teen crashes involve distracted driving, such as texting or talking on cell phones. The analysis, which was conducted by the University of Iowa using Lytx DriveCam cameras, examined the last six seconds before a teen crashed and found that 15 percent of drivers were talking to others in the car, 12 percent were using a cellphone in some fashion and 11 percent were distracted by something else in the car.

A survey by the NHTSA found that the percentage of teen drivers using cellphones while behind the wheel increased from 1 percent to 4.8 percent between 2007 and 2014, and the Pew Research Center found that 55 percent of teenagers send text messages every day.

People who are injured in a car crash caused by distracted driving often have to face high medical expenses and a loss of income due to an inability to return to their jobs while they are recovering. An attorney can often be of assistance in pursuing compensation from the at-fault motorist.

Source: USA Today, "AAA: 100 'deadliest days' of summer: Teens on the road after Memorial Day," Bart Jansen, June 1, 2016

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