A 20-year-old woman was killed recently in a three-vehicle crash in Kentucky, according to ABC 36. The collision occurred at an intersection, and the 20-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene. One of the other motorists involved was hospitalized for treatment and the other was treated at the scene of the collision. Police indicate the cause of the accident is still under investigation.
This young woman lost her life in a manner sadly not uncommon in Kentucky. Auto accidents are a leading cause of death for children, teens and young adults. While the cause of this crash is still being investigated, we do know collisions involving young motorists often occur because those inexperienced young drivers engage in dangerous behaviors.
One recent study from AAA Traffic Safety Foundation revealed young motorists ages 19 to 24 may actually be the demographic group most likely to engage in risky behavior behind the wheel, which could result in fatal auto accidents. Any motorist who flouts traffic laws or fails to use reasonable care can be held legally responsible for any resulting injuries or deaths.
Young Drivers Engage in High Risk Behaviors While Driving, Increasing Collision Risks
Drivers ages 19 to 24 are likely to engage in some of the behaviors with the greatest risk of causing auto accidents to occur. Those behaviors include speeding, driving while distracted and running through red lights.
There were 3,477 distracted driving fatalities in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drivers ages 19 to 24 were the most likely to admit to driving while distracted when asked about their driving behaviors by AAA. As compared with all other drivers, they were 1.6 times as likely to read emails and texts. Even more worrisome, they were twice as likely as all other drivers to type and send emails and texts. Both reading and sending texts causes inattention blindness, makes it difficult to focus on the road and significantly increases the chances of a serious collision or a fatal crash.
Another top crash cause of deadly crashes in Kentucky is speeding. Turns out, young adult drivers are also more likely to do this, too. There were 10,219 speeding-related fatalities in 2012. Speeding drivers contributed to causing 30 percent of deadly collisions, according to NHTSA. Among drivers ages 19-24, they were 1.4 times as likely as other drivers to go 10 miles per hour or more above the speed limit on streets in residential areas. Many of the young motorists answering AAA's survey didn't even believe speeding was dangerous. Although only 5 percent of all drivers said it wasn't safe to go 10 MPH or more over a residential speed limit, 12 percent of drivers ages 19 to 24 didn't find this to be a big safety risk.
Finally, 709 deaths and 126,000 injuries were attributed to red-light running, according to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. These young adult drivers are also more likely to do this too. Just 6 percent of drivers said going through a light recently changed from yellow to red was OK, but 14 percent of drivers ages 19 to 24 said this was fine. And, while just 36 percent of drivers admitted to running red lights, 50 percent of drivers 19 to 24 had gone through a light.
Young motorists are making themselves, and others, less safe. Our law firm is committed to holding reckless and negligent drivers of all ages accountable.