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Teen Driver Fatalities Account for 15% of All Roadway Deaths in Tennessee

Young woman driving car and texting on her smart phone

Teen driving fatalities increase in the summer.

Car accidents are a tragic reality on our roads, and Tennessee has seen a concerning rise in teen driver fatalities in recent years. In just the last five years, the number of teen driver fatalities in Tennessee increased by more than 50.

In 2017, there were 125 young driver deaths in Tennessee. In 2021 there were 188.

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    Meanwhile, Tennessee teens make up a disproportionate number of traffic deaths statewide.

    As we enter the summer months, it is important to shed light on this alarming trend and discuss the contributing factors to car accidents involving teen drivers and how to reduce the risk.

    Contributing factors to teen driving fatalities

    Summertime brings a surge in teen driving fatalities across Tennessee, where teen driver fatalities account for 15% of all roadway deaths. This is almost twice the U.S. average. Nationwide, teen drivers make up about 8.5% of roadway fatalities.

    According to a study by, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, known as the "100 Deadliest Days," witnesses a significant increase in car accidents involving teenagers. This can be attributed to a combination of factors, but according to AAA, the biggest threat is bad driving behavior.

    AAA research says the lack of experience and maturity among young drivers is what most often leads them to risky behaviors on the road. That's why parents who discuss safe driving with their teens help to reduce the risk of fatal teen accidents. Here are some of the most common factors in fatal accidents involving teen drivers:

    • Distracted driving. Cell phone usage while driving is a significant cause of accidents among teens.
    • Speeding. Inexperience and a desire to impress peers can lead young drivers to exceed speed limits.
    • Impaired driving. Alcohol, drugs, fatigue, and illness can impair judgment and reaction time. It is crucial that teens understand the dangers of driving impaired and seek alternative transportation options when needed.
    • Seat belt usage. Seat belts save lives, yet some teens neglect to buckle up.

    Preventing teen driving fatalities

    While there is no way to guarantee an accident will not happen, there are ways to reduce the danger:

    • Education and awareness. Implement comprehensive driver education programs emphasizing defensive driving techniques and promoting responsible behavior behind the wheel. Parents can encourage open conversations with their sons and daughters about the risks and consequences of unsafe driving practices.
    • Parental involvement. Being actively engaged in a teen's driving journey can help parents set clear rules and expectations, enforce consequences for violating them, and monitor driving habits.

    How a Nashville car accident lawyer can help

    Teen driver fatalities are devastating tragedies and a significant threat on Tennessee's roads - especially during summer. By understanding the contributing factors and taking preventive measures, teens, parents, and other drivers can help reduce these avoidable accidents.

    Remember, if your teen has been injured in a car accident or if you were hit by a negligent teen driver, legal help is available. The Law Office of Eric Beasley offers free case evaluations to injured accident victims and their families in Nashville and throughout Middle Tennessee. We can listen to the details of your case, answer your questions, and explain your potential legal options. No strings attached. Just help. Contact us today to find out more.

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