According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fatal car crashes are one of the major causes of death among teenagers in the country. In fact, an average of 6 teens die from a car accident every day. Why are they at a greater risk for motor vehicle crashes than any other age group? There are several reasons that factor into why teens, particularly those between the ages of 16 and 19, have a high rate of car accidents.
Here are some of the most common contributing factors to teen driver crashes:
- Inexperience: Given their age, teens simply do not have enough experience to recognize or react to dangerous situations, which increases the risk of a crash. This is especially true during the first months after a teen receives a license since they are often overly eager to drive and have little inhibition. Better, more defensive driving techniques take time and experience to develop, so younger drivers inevitably end up making more mistakes.
- Distracted Driving: Teens are notoriously attached to their cell phones, even while behind the wheel of a car. About 80% of teens in the country own a cell phone, most of which are smartphones with alluring apps and other capabilities. However, distracted driving involves more than the use of cell phones. It involves any activity that requires drivers to take their attention or eyes off the road, such as chatting with passengers, eating or drinking, and fiddling with the radio. Distracted driving is dangerous for all drivers, regardless of age, but particularly more risky for new drivers who already have slower reaction times and are easily distracted.
- Neglecting to Wear a Seatbelt: We all know that wearing a seat belt can greatly reduce the risk of fatal or severe car accident injuries, but unfortunately, teenage drivers often neglect this safety precaution and fail to wear a seat belt. In a survey released in 2013, only about half of high school students said they always wear a seat belt. Compared to other age groups, teenagers have the lowest rate of seat belt usage, making them more prone to serious car accident injuries.
- Drinking and Driving: Driving under the influence is not only against the law, but a deadly driving habit that can cause disastrous accidents even among the most experienced drivers. This is a common factor in teen driver accidents since younger drivers are usually more likely to partake in dangerous behaviors without fully grasping the potential risks involved.
- Reckless Driving: In addition to drinking and driving, teen drivers engage in other reckless driving habits, especially speeding. 35% of teenage drivers are reported to have been speeding at the time of their accident and male teens are at an even higher risk for being involved in fatal high-speed crashes. Other common reckless driving habits include making illegal turns and lane changes, tailgating, and street racing.
- Driving with Teen Passengers: Driving with friends might seem like a fun idea, but riding with friends is actually a major distraction and increases the likelihood of a young driver operating under the influence or partaking in other reckless behavior as a result of peer pressure. Teenagers have a strong desire to impress their friends, so even if they are uncomfortable with unsafe driving, they might do it anyway to build a sense of comradery among their friends.
Erie Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney
At McNair Law Offices, PLLC, our firm understands that any type of motor vehicle accident can have life-altering consequences, such as costly medical bills, extensive property damages, lost wages, and other expensive losses. This is undoubtedly an overwhelming time for you, especially if your injuries take you away from work, or have long-term or permanent effects. Our Erie legal team is committed to serving injury victims and will fight to ensure you receive maximum compensation.
When you choose to work with us, you will receive over 35 years of legal experience on your side and trusted legal counsel from a genuine, caring attorney. Our firm also operates on a contingency fee basis, which means you will not owe us any legal fees unless we are able to successfully recover compensation on your behalf.
Contact us today at (814) 389-1771 to schedule a free consultation.