Teen Driving Risks a Nebraska Safety Focus this Spring
Teen driving safety is in focus, with spring break upon us, graduation and the summer travel season right around the corner.
Drive it Home is among the many organizations reminding teens about the dangers of unsafe driving decisions, included distracted driving and drunk driving. A recently posted survivor's story drives home the often catastrophic consequences of driving while impaired.
Teens at High Risk of Drunk Driving Accidents
Jacob Smith posts about the life-altering consequences of being hit by a drunk driver while returning from a teen leadership conference in a school vehicle. He was airlifted to the hospital with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), face fractures, foot fractures and a broken back. He had to relearn how to read and walk.
"Every decision made on the road can have a positive or negative effect on yourself and others," he writes, noting as well the risks of distracted behaviors like eating, drinking or texting while driving.
Our injury attorneys in Omaha note recovery damages in this case will be further complicated by the fact the car accident occurred in a school vehicle. Under the Nebraska Tort Claims Act Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 81-8,209 - 81-8,239.11 (1969) claims against government entities in Nebraska, including school districts, must be made within two years. With some exceptions, a government entity can generally be found liable for damages in the same manner as a private individual under like circumstances.
The serious nature of the injuries in this case highlights the critical need to identify all potentially responsible parties when building a case for damages. Frequently in these cases, the at-fault driver's auto insurance policy is insufficient to cover victims' losses.
Future medical expenses will be another important factor. Back injuries and traumatic brain injuries can require lengthy rehabilitation and can have life-long complications.
Young Driver Safety in Omaha
A report last year in the Lincoln Journal Star found teen drivers account for only 10 percent of Nebraska motorists behind the wheel but are involved in 20 percent of traffic accidents.
Nebraska Safety Council reports 17 teens died on state roads last year and most of those deaths might have been prevented by seatbelt use.
Studies continue to show teens are more likely to overestimate their skills and underestimate the risks of a given road situation. They are less likely to wear a seat belt and more likely to drive distracted or impaired.
A report by the Department of Health and Human Services revealed teens are most likely to be injured or killed in auto accidents on rural roads, not in urban settings.
While Nebraska law mandates a graduated driver's licensing program for teens, just because a teen has earned a driver's license does not mean he or she is ready for the road. By talking to your teens about the importance of basic driving safety, you can help keep them safe this spring.
Teens are most likely to get into an accident with other teens in the vehicle. Limiting the number of passengers in your teen's vehicle can also help reduce the risks. Teens should always know they can call you for a ride and should never ride in a vehicle with too many passengers or with an unsafe or intoxicated driver.
The next few months are the most dangerous of the year for teen drivers. Do your part and help your young drivers make safety a top priority. In the event of an accident, contact an experienced attorney at Ausman Law Firm.