Teenagers are at greater risk of auto accidents than other drivers. So not surprisingly, fatal motor vehicle accidents are a risk for workers between the ages of 16 and 24.
From 2003 to 2010, motor vehicle accidents killed 843 workers ages 16-24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The accidents accounted for approximately 22% of all workplace fatalities involving workers in this age category.
There are severe restrictions on teen workers under age 18 operating motor vehicles. Beginning at age 18, most drivers can be given duties that involve operating a motor vehicle. However, even at this age, some workers may lack the maturity and experience to drive safely.
Additionally, young workers may engage in risky driving behaviors that lead to accidents. For instance, younger workers are less likely to wear seatbelts and eliminate distractions while driving.
If your teenager operates a motor vehicle on a job, you must be aware that fatigue, inexperience, lack of skills, lack of judgment, failure to wear seat belts and distractions can raise the chances of an accident. Teenagers sometimes overestimate their driving skills and may be overenthusiastic about meeting an employer’s expectations.
Parents should evaluate a child’s driving skills and inquire whether a job comes with driving training.
Michael Parsons is an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer representing injured workers in the metro Atlanta region and helping them recover the workers’ compensation benefits that they have earned.