Teen drivers across the United States are more likely to get into accidents than the rest of the general population, and Alabama’s teen drivers, especially, are having a hard time staying safe on the roadways. According to WHNT, Alabama ranks second in the nation in terms of the number of teen driving fatalities that occur on its roads annually.
While a general lack of experience is an undeniable factor in the number of teen driving fatalities seen across the state and nation, the Alabama Child Death Review System reports that there are also three other major contributors. Distracted driving behaviors, such as using phones or eating behind the wheel, is one of the three, and the others include drinking and driving and not wearing a seat belt.
While the traffic death rates for teens across Alabama are receiving attention in the press as of late, traffic fatalities, in general, have also risen in recent years in the Heart of Dixie. The University of Alabama’s A News reports that the state experienced nearly 25 percent more traffic fatalities in 2016 than it did the year prior, with about 1,058 people losing their lives on state roadways last year.
So, what is responsible for the spike? Distracted driving, alcohol consumption and a lack of safety belts are again likely contributors, but the results of a recent University of Alabama study suggest that several additional factors, too, are likely at work. Speed and pedestrian faults are among them. All drivers in the state, regardless of age, may be able to minimize their risk of being injured or killed in an accident by buckling up consistently, devoting their full attention to the task at hand and abstaining from using alcohol or drugs before getting behind the wheel.