Car accidents are the leading cause of death for United States teenagers, accounting for more than one-in-three teen wrongful deaths. The risk of auto accidents is higher among 16- to 19-year-old teenage drivers than among any other age group. Per mile driven, teenage drivers are four times more likely to get into a car accident than older motorists.
Newly licensed teenage drivers in their first year on the road are also the most likely to be in a car accident. Among teen drivers, males are the most likely to cause a car accident. The death rate in car accidents for male teen drivers is one and half times that of female teenage drivers. They are also more likely to drink, speed and not wear their seat belt compared to their female counterparts.
Our San Diego car accident lawyers know the car accidents statistics, and they show that the inexperience and recklessness are a dangerous combination for teen driver. Many teens are testing the limits instead of properly driving a car. In all, teen drivers’ inexperience leads to poor decision making and a greater chance of car accidents. This problem is very difficult to fix because each year new teenage drivers hit the road.
Inexperience Often Leads to Car Accidents for Teen Drivers
- Teenage drivers are more likely than older drivers to underestimate dangerous situations or are simply unable to recognize them.
- Teenage drivers are more likely to drink and drive (DUI), drive with distractions, speed and tailgate.
- Teenage drivers are also the age group most likely not to wear a seat belt, which make their injuries and death totals in car accidents far worse.
Graduated Licensing Programs Help Prevent Teen Driver Car Accidents
Teenage drivers now can gain the adequate experience before they become fully licensed, and graduated driver licensing programs (GDL) have proven to be successful in this regard. GDL systems are designed to delay full licenses for first-time drivers while allowing teenage drivers to gain driving experience in low-risk conditions with as few passengers as possible. Studies also show that the presence of teenage passengers makes it even more likely for a car accident to occur with a teenage driver, and the risk only increases with more teen passengers.
Here are some of the programs attached to GDL systems:
- First-year teenage drivers are forbidden from driving with more than one other teenage passenger.
- First-year teen drivers cannot drive after midnight.
- First-year teenage drivers often start with points on their licenses.
These programs have led to a 38 percent reduction in fatal car accidents and 40 percent less injury-causing auto accidents. Unfortunately, not all states employ graduated driver’s licensing programs.
Parents Can Prevent Needless Teen Driver Car Accidents
At the end of the day, it all comes down to the parents or legal guardians of these teenage drivers. They need to make sure to not only teach but also practice the proper driving techniques every day. Children will learn from a very young age the correct manner in which they should handle themselves on the roadways. If teenagers spent their formative years learning and observing safe driving techniques, then they would be more likely to do so themselves. When they show that they are not driving safely, then it is up to the parent to take away that privilege.
For car accident lawyers, the goal at all times is to educate people to avoid causing car accidents because teenage drivers are causing more than their fair share of auto accidents on the roads.
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Our San Diego law office has been dedicated to serving people with automobile accident injuries for the past two decades. Our attorneys look forward to providing you with good advice so that you can make smart decisions about your case.