Teen Drivers at High Risk On America’s Roadways

By | October 27, 2016

The Centers for Disease Control has analyzed many different data points in order to determine where teens are most likely to get involved in crashes. According to their research, vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. The good news is that the majority of teen motor vehicle accidents are completely preventable. 

Read on to learn more about what strategies can help to minimize the number of teens and other victims suffering in dangerous car accidents. In 2014, more than 2000 teenagers in the United States were killed and a further 221,000 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries associated with a vehicle accident.

This translates to 6 teens between the ages of 16 and 19 suffering fatal injuries every single day as a result of a vehicle crash. Teens face a variety of different risks than other age categories of drivers.

Factors That Make Teen Drivers More Likely to Be Involved in an Accident

First of all, teen drivers are more likely than their older peers to underestimate hazardous or dangerous road conditions. They are also more likely than adults to make critical decision mistakes that can lead to catastrophic accidents.

Second, with handling rush hour and night time driving, given that 50% of these accidents happen on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, teen drivers face a significant risk and are more likely than their older peers to get distracted roadways and are more likely to engage in speeding behavior.

Third, teens also don’t make proper usage of safety restraints like seatbelts the way that individuals in other age categories too. They in fact had the lowest rate of seatbelt usage in 2015. Just over two thirds of high school students reported that they wear seat belts when traveling in someone else’s vehicle.

Finally, teen drivers are at much higher risk for a drinking and driving accident. According to research from 2014, 17% of drivers between the ages of sixteen and twenty who were involved in a fatal car crash had a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. One-fifth of teens admitted that they have been inside a vehicle with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.

Given the teens and experience and their general propensity for being involved in more critical car accidents, risky behaviors like speeding, being distracted and drinking and driving are all putting these teenagers at a greater risk of being critically injured or killing someone else.

Unfortunately, many of the teen driving accidents that have claimed the lives of others are completely preventable. Parents can play a significant role in minimizing the number of teen injuries and deaths on America’s roadways by enforcing rules like a driving contract and having regular times that the teen can drive or not drive.

Given that passengers can play such an important role in distracting the driver or increasing the chances of an accident, it is important for parents to consider what passengers and how many should be allowed inside the vehicle at any given time.

Having clear rules about passengers as well as when a teen is able to drive during the day can help to minimize the chances of that teen being involved in a critical accident.

If you or someone you know has already been injured in a distracted driving or other reckless car accident, you may be entitled to recover compensation with the help of a personal injury attorney. Do not hesitate to reach out to a lawyer to learn more.

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