If you’re a parent, it’s natural to have a hard time accepting that your child is growing up. But whether you like it or not, if your teen is approaching driving age, they’re most likely eager to get behind the wheel and achieve this milestone in their life. This is why it’s best to understand the risks involved with teen driving so you can get your loved ones the training they need to stay safe.
The crash rate for teenagers is much higher than it is for adults and ranks as the leading cause of death among those between the ages of 12 and 19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 2,500 teens in the United States were killed in car crashes in 2018, and 285,000 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries. There is a multitude of reasons why teens are more susceptible to accidents on the road than any other age group, and understanding these reasons is the first step to addressing this major problem.
Here are some of the most common reasons for crashes involving teenage drivers:
1. Distracted Driving
When many of us think of distracted driving, smartphones usually come to mind and, while this is certainly a major distraction for teens who often cannot wait to respond to a text or resist the lure of a cool new app, this is not the only distraction to be concerned about. Peer passengers, eating, drinking, and grooming while driving are all dangerous distractions. It might seem like fun to drive with a group of friends to the movies, but sometimes getting caught up in a conversation can take one’s attention away from the road. Distractions are dangerous for any driver of any age, but even more so for teens who are inexperienced.
Speeding is one of the leading causes of accidents in the country across all age groups and is another reason why teen drivers crash. The National Young Driver Survey (NYDS) revealed that most high school students admitted to driving at least 10 mph over the speed limit. In serious crashes caused by teen driver errors, 21% were caused by speeding. This is a dangerous practice since it decreases the time one has to stop to avoid a collision.
3. Driving in the Evening
Teens are particularly at risk for crashing at night. Drivers generally have less time to see or react to signs on the road, anticipate upcoming curves, notice a car swerving into their lane, or see pedestrians crossing the road. An experienced driver will know to exercise more caution under less ideal conditions. Teenagers lack this experience and will not know how to recognize or avoid hazards in a timely manner.
4. Seat Belt Usage
Many teen drivers die in crashes due to a lack of seat belt usage. In fact, young adults between the age of 16 and 24 have the lowest seat belt use compared to all other age groups. This is unfortunate given that the use of a seat belt can reduce crash-related injuries and deaths by about half. Seat belt usage among teens improved in states with primary enforcement laws by about 12%.
Set an example for your children. Studies have revealed that at least 56% of teenagers rely on their parents to learn how to drive, so if you are practicing unsafe habits on the road, chances are your kids are taking note and might implement these behaviors when they are behind the wheel as well. Keep your teens safe and lead by example. It might save a life.
Call us to File Your Car Accident Claim Today
If you or someone you love was involved in a car accident, the Colorado Springs car accident attorneys at Clawson & Clawson, LLP are here to secure maximum financial compensation on your behalf. Our personal injury attorneys have more than 100 years of collective experience to put to use to fight for you. An at-fault party’s insurance company will do everything to reduce the value of your claim, but with our team at your side, you can be confident that we won’t allow them to trample over your right to compensation for your injuries.
Fill out our form online or call our attorneys today at (719) 602-5888 to learn more about your rights and the various damages you can recover if you’ve been injured by a negligent driver.