There have been many public debates in recent years about different generations’ habits, contributions to society, and trends. One consistent area of discussion is the prevalence of motor vehicle accidents in the United States and which age groups cause them most often. A recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicates that millennials, or people born between 1980 and 1994, are responsible for taking the most risks on the road and generally face a higher risk of experiencing car accidents.
The study reviewed drivers from various age groups and asked them about their driving habits during the past 30 days. According to the study, 88% of millennials admitted to engaging in risky behavior behind the wheel at least once during this timeframe, placing them squarely at the top of the study’s list of riskiest drivers by age group.
What Constitutes “Risky” Driving?
Driving is a complex action that becomes easier with time and practice due to the muscle memory involved. Driving has two essential components: the physical capability to control a vehicle in changing driving conditions, and the ability to anticipate the actions of other drivers nearby. The traffic signs and signals posted on the roads of the United States help drivers with the latter. However, it is up to individual drivers to improve the former through practice, patience, and careful decision making.
“Risky driving” is a loose term that applies to any behavior outside of careful, cautious, and attentive driving. A few examples of the risky behaviors millennials are most likely to engage in include:
- Texting while driving. Distracted driving accidents have increased tremendously since the advent of smartphones in the early 2000s. Texting behind the wheel is one of the most distracting behaviors a driver can do because it requires the use of the driver’s hand, eyes, and attention when they should be focused on driving safely.
- It’s not uncommon to see most drivers driving at five to ten miles per hour over the speed limit in many areas, and most drivers have the competency and experience to do this relatively safely. However, speed limits are posted for a reason. Available traffic data informs local lawmakers to decide on appropriate speed limits for different roads, and drivers of all experience levels have a duty of care to abide by posted speed limits at all times.
- Running stop signs and red lights. Some drivers, unfortunately, view traffic signals like stop signs and red lights as annoyances rather than necessary safety devices. Drivers who run red lights or stop signs because the cross street “looks clear” put themselves and others at extreme risk when such actions ultimately save drivers a few seconds of driving time at most.
The 2017 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study concluded that drivers aged 19 to 24 had an 88.4% chance to engage in these behaviors, and drivers ages 25 to 39 had a 79.2% chance to do the same. These rates decreased as the age groups advanced. Drivers ages 40 to 59 reported a 75.2% chance to engage in risky behaviors. In comparison, this chance fell to 69.3% for new drivers between the ages of 16 to 18 and senior drivers over the age of 75, who reported a 69.1% chance of engaging in risky behavior. The “safest” drivers were those between the ages of 60 and 74, who still reported a relatively high chance of engaging in risky behavior behind the wheel at 67.3%.
Potential Legal Risks of Unsafe Driving
Every driver in California and the rest of the nation has a duty of care to abide by posted traffic signals and obey the traffic laws. Drivers who engage in risky or unsafe behavior must realize that, no matter how confident they may be behind the wheel, it only takes a second of inattention to cause a very serious accident. When a driver commits a moving violation such as speeding or running a red light, or who drives while distracted by a cell phone, will be liable for any resulting damages if their risky behavior causes an accident with another driver.
Drivers of all ages and experience levels need to avoid risky behaviors at all times. An auto accident can lead to complex insurance claims and civil litigation. Ultimately, saving a few seconds of driving time by speeding or committing another moving violation is never worth the potential damages such actions might cause. If another driver recently injured you due to their dangerous driving or distraction in Orange County, contact car accident attorneys, Easton & Easton to discuss potential legal remedies that can help you recover your losses.
What to Do if a Child Is Injured in a Car Crash
If you are involved in a car accident in the State of California, you may be understandably shaken up and terrified following the crash. However, if your child was injured in a car crash, you may feel overwhelmed and panicked. Take a moment to follow these steps to ensure that your child’s health and safety is addressed in the best way possible.
To Move or Not to Move
Depending on the severity of the car accident, you may have to make the decision to remove your child from the car. First, call 911 and request that a police officer and ambulance arrive at the scene. If you have any suspicion that your child is severely injured, it may be best to leave them and not move them at all. In other cases, leaving the child in the car may cause worse injuries, therefore, it is imperative that you call 911 and speak with a professional who may be able to help you make the best decision for your child.
File a Police Report
While this will not directly affect your child’s immediate health, you will want to ensure that the police take a complete and accurate report at the scene that you can request later. This is important because if you or your child are faced with astronomical and unexpected medical bills following a car crash, you will be able to receive compensation for those injuries if proper documentation and evidence are provided. A police report is a critical part of the documentation needed to build a strong personal injury claim, and receive compensation from an insurance company.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Even if the car crash was minor, or considered a “fender-bender”, do not hesitate to seek immediate medical attention. If an ambulance arrives, have them examine both you and your child for any unseen or unnoticeable injuries that may be life-threatening or severe. In many cases, you or your child may not feel unwell due to the adrenaline that is dumped into the system following a traumatic event such as a car accident. If you do not have an ambulance arrive at the scene of the car crash, you should go to an emergency room to have a doctor or other medical professional thoroughly examine both you and your child. In all cases, you should seek some sort of medical attention within 72 hours following any car accident, simply to make sure that your health and your child’s health is taken care of in an appropriate manner.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
You may feel terrifying following a car accident that involves your child. Remaining calm and making sure to seek the best medical attention as soon as possible can ensure the best outcome for the health of you and your child. Contact Easton & Easton’s personal injury lawyers in Orange County at 800-461-8259 or online today to discuss how our legal team can help you obtain the compensation you deserve following a car accident.
We help car accident victims recover from negligent drivers
When a child is injured in an accident, insurance company’s may rush to try to settle any claims with the victims or their family members. People in this situation are usually focused on getting medical treatment and recovering from their injuries, or in the case of a fatal accident, the surviving loved ones are grieving their loss. Thus, it can be tempting for them to take a quick payout from the insurance company so that they can try to move on from the accident.
At Easton and Easton, we deal with accident cases where the insurance company’s immediate offer is not sufficient to cover the damages and ongoing expenses that can arise from the accident. Our attorneys and staff know how to dig deep for important evidence that can help accident victims recover more compensation than what an insurance company may have offered.
Our website contains information about accident cases, and how we can help people pursue legal action following this type of traumatic event. Anyone in Orange County who is injured in, or has suffered the loss of a loved one in a car accident should be fully aware of their legal rights and options. Blindly accepting an offer from an insurance company may be the easier way to handle such a situation, but it is not necessarily the most beneficial course of action.