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Why do teens have such a high fatal crash rate?

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2023 | Car Accident Injuries |

When you compare teen drivers to other drivers in the United States, a few glaring facts stand out. One of them is that these drivers suffer a disproportionately high fatal accident rate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims that this rate is three times higher than the one they have determined is suffered by older drivers.

It’s clear that teens are causing fatal accidents more often than anyone else. But why is this? There are many different factors that play into this reality, even though every accident is unique. The following are a few common factors that lead to fatal accidents caused by teen motorists.

Brand new drivers

When it comes to driving, a lack of experience is very problematic. Statistics show that 16-year-olds have a crash rate that is one and a half times higher than 18-year-olds. Even a few months of experience can make someone a much safer driver. By the time that young motorists are in their 20s, the crash rate falls significantly because they have years of experience under their belts.

Driving with passengers

It is often best for teenagers to drive on their own. This allows them to focus on the road and helps to eliminate some distractions. It also helps to reduce peer pressure, as teens will sometimes do things – such as racing another vehicle on the interstate – to impress their friends. Teenagers who have other young adults or teens in the car with them crash more often than those who do not.

Distracted driving

It is not only teens who are distracted behind the wheel, but it is a reality that disproportionately impacts this age group. As noted above, some get distracted by passengers. But many of them also get distracted by smartphones in an era when connecting with their peers electronically is very important. Furthermore, teens may get distracted by things they have to do in the car, such as changing the radio station, adjusting the mirrors or using the GPS. Any level of distraction is problematic, especially for an inexperienced driver.

Teens aren’t likely to stop causing injurious or fatal crashes any time soon, unfortunately. Therefore, if you or a loved one is affected by a crash caused by an inexperienced driver, just remember that you have rights and that you can seek legal guidance for greater clarity at any time.