In suburban West Palm Beach recently, a tragic auto accident occurred. According to Palm Beach Post, a 23-year-old motorist was killed and a 24-year-old was taken to the hospital in serious condition following the accident. One of the young motorists was traveling on Military Trail in a 2010 Nissan. He was exceeding the speed limit. Another vehicle, a Volkswagen, was going south and turned left into the path of the northbound lane. The turning Volkswagen vehicle was hit in the passenger side by the speeding Nissan vehicle, with the crash causing one death and critical injuries for the other motorist.
This is just one of many fatal crashes involving younger drivers caused by speeding. In fact, speeding was cited as the cause of 10,219 lost lives in fatal car accidents in 2012. Drivers going too fast were a contributing cause of 30 percent of all deadly car accidents over the course of the same year, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Federal government statistics show this fatal crash in West Palm Beach mirrors so many that happen all over the country among drivers of this same age cohort. In fact, new studies from AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety have revealed speeding is one of several high-risk behaviors in which young adult drivers ages 19-24 are much more likely to engage compared with other motorists.
The AAA Foundation survey found drivers ages 19 to 24 were much more likely than other motorists to believe dangerous driving behaviors were safe. Motorists in this demographic group were, naturally, much more likely to engage in these high-risk behaviors they thought were acceptable.
Drivers ages 19-24 were 1.4 times as likely as other drivers to exceed speed limits in a residential neighborhood by at least 10 miles-per-hour. While 5 percent of all drivers said they felt it was alright to go more than 10 mph over posted limits in residential areas, 12 percent of drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 revealed their belief that this behavior was safe enough to be acceptable.
Speeding wasn't the only unsafe behavior which was far more prevalent among young millennial drivers. When it comes to texting, 19-to-24-year-old drivers were 1.6 times as likely as all other drivers to say they had read a text or email and they were twice as likely as all other drivers to say they had typed a text or email to send it while driving. In total, 40.2 percent of all drivers read texts or emails and 31.4 percent of all drivers wrote text or emails. Among 19-to-24-year-old drivers, however, 66.1 percent had read a text or email and 59.3 percent had composed a text or email. In total, 36 percent of all drivers had recently run a red light and six percent thought it was acceptably safe to go through a red light. By comparison, close to half of young millennial drivers have recently run a red light and 14 percent responded that it was OK to do so.
These young drivers are putting their own lives, and everyone else's lives, in danger of a car crash when they engage in these high risk behaviors. It is imperative that they be more responsible.
When drivers are involved in high-risk driving behavior, they are breaching their duty of care to other drivers and may be held liable to cover the cost of resulting damages and injuries.