Fatal Teen Accidents Prompt Franklin Instructor to Offer Free Driving Classes
A driving instructor located in Franklin, Tennessee, is offering free safe driving lessons to teens in Williamson County after four local high school students died in fatal car accidents last month.
Per a report by WSMV.com, three of the teen car accident victims were behind the wheel at the time of their fatal accidents. The owner of Spanky’s Driving Academy in Franklin was moved by the news and made an announcement via a Facebook video that his academy will offer two hours of free classes for six nights.
The first class will be offered on Tuesday, Dec. 27, with additional classes taking place on Wednesday and Thursday and on New Year’s Day from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The instructor said that the classes can serve as a safe driving refresher for teens who are out of school for the holiday break.
The driving classes will include lessons about things like speeding, space cushions, aggressive driving, road rage, and the dangers of distracted driving. A 15-year-old student told reporters after his lesson with the instructor that he would drive more safely after the loss of his classmates.
Enrollment in the classes is free and doesn’t require advanced registration, but the instructor asks that anyone interested in taking part in the class arrive 10 minutes early.
What Are Common Causes of Teen Driving Accidents?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that 2,270 teens between the ages of 16 and 19 years old were killed in car accidents in 2014, and another 221,313 were injured in automobile crashes. That means a total of six teens were killed in motor vehicle accidents every day in 2014.
Some of the most common causes of teen driving accidents per a report by the CDC include the following:
- Underestimating or failing to recognize dangerous situations
Teen drivers are inexperienced compared to older drivers who have tens of thousands of hours of practice behind the wheel. Due to their inexperience, many teen drivers are unable to recognize when they’re about to be in dangerous situations. That means they’re less likely to take corrective actions to avoid accidents and they’re also more likely to engage in behaviors that can put themselves and other drivers at risk.
- Speeding and following other vehicles too closely
Speeding is one of the biggest risk factors for all types of accidents, including teen crashes. Teens are among the most likely groups of drivers to exceed the speed limit in all conditions. They’re also more likely to follow other vehicles too closely. When combined, those factors create a much higher risk of accidents, including rear-end collisions.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
Teens are highly vulnerable to the effects of alcohol. Because their brains haven’t matured, it can have unpredictable and dramatic effects on their reaction times, judgment, and behavior. Teens are already more likely to be involved in car accidents than people in other age groups, and when they’re intoxicated, their risk significantly increases. The CDC says that 24 percent of teens involved in fatal accidents in 2014 were under the influence of alcohol.
- Driving while distracted
Distracted driving is an epidemic, especially when it pertains to the use of smartphones and other electronic devices while behind the wheel. A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that nearly 60 percent of moderate to severe teen driving accidents involved distractions. That’s four times the number of accidents estimated by data collected from police reports. Distraction is estimated to play a role in nearly 90 percent of road departure accidents and nearly 80 percent of rear-end collisions.
Teens yearn for freedom and independence, and they’re legally allowed to obtain restricted driver licenses at age 16. It’s important to make sure teens remember that driving is a privilege and that it can be exceptionally dangerous if they ignore the rules of the road. Enrolling your teen driver in safe driving classes is a great way to make sure he or she gets off to a good start and learns good driving habits at a young age.
If you or your teen driver were injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be eligible to pursue a claim for compensation. The Nashville car accident lawyers at Matt Hardin Law know that teens who are injured in car accidents can suffer lifelong disabilities that interfere with their education and their ability to work, and that’s why we fight for their rights to the money they deserve. Dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form to speak with our attorneys today.