Teen drivers have a higher crash rate than adults and it is important to understand why these young individuals are much more prone to accidents than any other age group in order to help address the problem. Of course, there is more than one reason that contributes to their high crash rate, which includes speeding, distractions, and general inexperience. If you have been driving for several years, chances are you are better at responding to emergencies or other unexpected incidents you might encounter on the road. Teen drivers, however, inherently lack this.
Below are some of the most common reasons why teen drivers crash:
- Distractions: Distracted driving is a major issue for drivers across the board, regardless of age, but even more so for teenagers. Talking to passengers, chatting on the phone or texting are all dangerous and distracting habits teenagers often partake in without considering the risks. Even hands-free options are just as risky since conversations can still preoccupy the mind even if a driver’s hands remain on the steering wheel. For a new driver whose reaction time is considered poor compared to that of a seasoned driver, even the smallest distraction can be disastrous.
- Speeding: In a study conducted by the National Young Driver Survey (NYDS), high school students across the country were asked to define speeding, to which the majority answered at least 10 mph over the posted speed limit. Even a single mile over the speed limit can be dangerous for a new driver, however. Speeding increases the distance required to be able to stop a car and, given the slower reactions teenage drivers have, this greatly increases their risk of a potential collision.
- Nighttime driving: Driving at night can be dangerous even for older, more experienced drivers. At night, drivers have less time to see and react to road signs, upcoming curves, and other unexpected events on the road. This is why it is necessary to decrease speed and exercise more caution.
- Seat belt usage: According to the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 55% of young adults between the ages of 13 and 20 who died in crashes were not wearing seat belts. Unfortunately, this means the age group most prone to accidents is also not using a safety device that greatly reduces serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about 50%.
If you have a teen driver in your household, have a discussion regarding safe driving. Driving is a privilege and one that no one should take lightly.
Raleigh and Durham Car Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident, now is the time to seek skilled and experienced legal representation to pursue the compensation you need and deserve during this overwhelming and traumatic time. At Hyland + Padilla PLLC, our personal injury attorneys are well-equipped to represent you against large insurance companies to ensure you recover damages for medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.
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