Are teenagers more dangerous drivers? Are they more at risk than other drivers? Most parents become anxious when their teenagers learn to drive, both because they worry their children may be too immature or impulsive for such a serious responsibility and because they are well aware of the dangers of driving in general. Their anxiety is not misplaced. Car accidents are the number one cause of death among teenagers in the United States. Teens aged 16 to 19 are three times more likely to involved in a fatal crash than drivers over the age of 20. The danger is greatest during the teen’s first year as a driver. Many of the injuries or deaths of teens are the result of the careless or distracted driving of other teens. If you or your teen has suffered injury as a result of another teen’s dangerous driving, you should consult with an experienced, skilled personal injury attorney to determine your rights to just compensation. Scary Statistics While young drivers represent only 14 percent of the population, they are responsible for 30 percent of the total cost of motor vehicle injuries among males and 28 percent among females. The most dangerous driving ages are 16 to 19. It is notable that males in their later teens are twice as likely as females to be involved in vehicular accidents in which there are fatalities. Reasons Teenagers Present Greater Risk on the Road There are a number of reasons teens present a greater risk on the road than drivers in other age groups. Immaturity and inexperience tend to make teens more likely to:
- Underestimate road hazards due to weather, construction, accidents or blockages
- Indulge in more impulsive driving behavior, such as speeding and tailgating
- Neglect to buckle their seatbelts
- Allow themselves to be distracted by friends, food, music, cell phones
As a matter of fact, research has proven that young drivers speed more (39 percent of fatal crashes involving teen male drivers were attributed to speeding), use their seatbelts less (56 percent of teens involved in fatal crashes were not wearing their seatbelts), and engage in cell phone use more than any other age group. Another extremely disturbing fact is that almost a quarter of teenagers polled admit to having ridden in a car with an intoxicated driver at the wheel within the last month. This is particularly alarming because 20 to 25 percent of fatal teenage car wrecks has been tied to alcohol usage. Clearly, more must be done in terms of education, supervision, and legal penalties to make teenagers safer drivers. In the meantime, if you or someone you love has been seriously injured by a teenaged driver, be sure to call or email the highly skilled personal injury attorneys at Jaroslawicz & Jaros PLLC for a free consultation at 212.227.2780 or [email protected].