What Makes Teen Drivers the Most Dangerous on the Road?

Teen Drivers Crash More Often Than Any Other Age Group

Car crashes remain the number one cause of death for U.S. teenagers, ages
15 to 19. This group of inexperienced motorists have the highest rate
of crashes among all age groups and contribute disproportionately to some
of the most tragic traffic fatalities. Whether it be general recklessness
on the road such as speeding, drunk or drugged driving, or just making
poor decisions over seatbelt use or choosing to send a text while driving,
the American Academy of Pediatrics says teenagers make more errors in
judgment than others and in return are involved in more motor vehicle
accidents. Experienced drivers can help though. The following messages
from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles and Wagner Reese should help
adults understand why being involved in their teen’s driving experience
is necessary to keep everyone on the road safe.

  • Brain Development: Teens should be the world’s best drivers. Their
    muscles are well toned, their reaction time quick, their eye-hand coordination
    at a peak. Yet vehicle crashes kill more teens than any other cause —
    a problem, some researchers believe that is rooted in the adolescent brain.
    In addition, adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
    (ADHD) are at higher risk for crash and injury.
  • Risky Driving Behaviors: Teenagers may engage in risky driving behaviors
    like speeding, running red and yellow lights, ignoring stop signs, tailgating,
    weaving in and out of traffic, not keeping a safe distance for merging
    or changing lanes, misjudging gaps in traffic and the capability of their vehicles.
  • Distractions: Music, cell phones, pets, food and passengers are best left
    at home while a teen is driving. Not only do these activities increase
    the risk of a crash dramatically, it is against the law for any driver
    under the age of 21 to use a telecommunication device while driving unless
    making a 911 emergency call.

There is growing hope though. Teens show the greatest improvement in safe
driving skills within the first year and 1,000 miles of driving. In addition,
the number of teenagers killed in motor vehicle crashes has decreased
by almost 50 percent over the last decade.

Teen Driving Accidents Do Increase with Risky Behavior

There are several factors that can help keep young people safe from triggering
a car crash. Most include solid safe driving lessons, parental involvement,
and the law. These additional steps can protect the lives of young drivers
and everyone who shares the road with them.

  1. Let your teen driver know not even one drink or drug interaction is OK.
    Remind them to never get in a car with a friend who has been drinking
    or using drugs.
  2. Cell phone usage should be zero while operating a motor vehicle. Researchers
    have shown such momentary notifications are actually distracting the driver
    for as long as 30 seconds to a full minute. Even checking a text message
    without responding increases your risk of an accident by 12 times.
  3. Teens should always wear a seat belt. Seatbelts will significantly reduce
    their risk of serious injury.
  4. Teach your teen about what to do in the event of a highway emergency. Too
    many teen drivers’ lives are lost every year when attempting to
    assist an injured motorist or when they make the choice to stop in an
    unsafe section of traffic.

Parents continue to play a major role in ensuring their teen drivers are
aware of their increased accident chances and can help reduce the risk
of being responsible for property damage, personal injuries, and even
death by staying involved as their teen grows into a more experienced driver.

No Risk Motor Vehicle Accident Injury Attorneys

If you or your family members were injured as the result of the poor decisions
of a teen driver, the team at Wagner Reese can assist you in pursuing
the compensation you deserve and may need for medical care and to cover
a loss of wages while injured. There is no risk, as we never collect any
kind of fee unless your case is settled or won.

Get in contact with us today at (888) 204-8440 to schedule a free consultation
or speak with us by
submitting our online form and our attorneys will review your information.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics