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Teen drivers at risk for motor vehicle accidents

Maryland parents can help teach their teens safer driving habits by modeling behavior such as not using their cellphones while they are behind the wheel. They can also teach them to speak to a distracted driver they are in the car with rather than remaining silent.

This is critical because teen drivers are most at risk in motor vehicle accidents. It is the leading cause of death for teens, and about 3,000 die each year in traffic fatalities. The likelihood of a teen dying in a car crash is almost three times higher than for any other age group. Furthermore, while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says distracted driving is a factor in almost 9 percent of fatal accidents, it is believed that as many as half of serious car accidents with teens involve distracted driving.

Traffic fatalities are also on the rise. After dropping from 2007 to 2014, they went up more than 7 percent in 2015, and 2016 figures so far show the increase is continuing. Other causes of the crashes have been pinpointed as speeding, not wearing seat belts and impaired driving. This means that despite improved safety technology such as electronic stability and air bags, human error is still playing a significant role in motor vehicle accidents.

Pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, and other drivers and passengers might be severely injured in accidents with cars or trucks. If a careless driver is to blame for the accident, then victims may want to have legal assistance in negotiating with the at-fault motorist's insurance company. If that proves fruitless, then it may be advisable to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver seeking compensation for medical bills and other losses.

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