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What are the top 3 hazards for teen drivers?

As we addressed last week, teen drivers face many dangers behind the wheel. In just the past half-decade, teenage drivers had involvement in almost 14,000 fatal collisions. Approximately one-third of those, or over 4,000, involved driving too fast.

Thus far in 2016 in Virginia, 68 percent of teenage driving fatalities were in collisions due to speeding, the Highway Safety Office of the Department of Motor Vehicles' preliminary data indicates.

National Teen Driver Safety Week begins on Oct. 16. AAA reminds parents of the important role they have in helping teens prevent deadly driving mistakes. The Association's manager of public and government affairs announced, "Parents of teen drivers are urged to lead by example each and . . . to coach teens towards good driving behaviors."

One survey of 142 driving instructors indicated the three primary mistakes by teen drivers were:

-- Speeding. Either driving faster than the speed limit or going too fast for the conditions on the road.

-- Distraction. Cellphones, interacting with other passengers or being preoccupied by other items in the vehicle are all examples of distracted driving that accounts for 20 percent of the deaths of teen drivers in the state.

-- Poor visual scanning. Tunnel vision and failing to scan the road ahead for hazards can be lethal.

Research indicates that when parents impose stricter driving limits, teens have fewer accidents and traffic violations.

While teens have higher rates of collisions, drivers of all ages who engage in risky behaviors behind the wheel can become hazards on the highways. If you were involved in an accident with a negligent driver, you may wish to pursue a claim for damages or a civil lawsuit.

Source: Augusta Free Press, "AAA survey reveals top deadly mistakes made by teen drivers," Oct. 13, 2016

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