If you’re studying car accident statistics, one thing that you’ll find is that fatality rates are the highest for teenagers. Starting when they can get their license at age 16, this group has higher fatality rates than any other age group. Even when people turn 20, there’s a notable decrease in fatal accidents – though the rate is still much higher than it is for middle-aged drivers.
Many of these motor vehicle accidents are, of course, caused by the teenage drivers involved in them. Why is it that this age group faces such daunting statistics?
They are inexperienced
First and foremost, teenage drivers are inexperienced. This leads to mistakes that older and more experienced drivers may not necessarily make. Teens will become safer with time spent behind the wheel, but they’re also going to cause accidents as they get that experience.
They may be distracted
Driver distraction can happen to people of any age, but there is evidence that things may be more distracting for teens. For instance, they sometimes have higher accident rates when driving with their friends because passenger distraction is a bigger deal for them. They may also be more likely to text and drive or use a cellphone.
They may be more reckless
There are certainly exceptions to every rule, but some studies have found that teens are more likely to engage in dangerous or reckless behavior while driving. This could include things like driving under the influence, street racing or not wearing their seatbelts.
For all these reasons and more, all drivers face some level of risk when sharing the road with teen drivers. If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one, be sure you know what legal options you have.