Distracted driving, drunk driving, and drowsy driving all play a role in preventable car wrecks across San Diego and the U.S., but information from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that teen drivers are responsible for most of the accidents. Part of this may be due to inexperience, as younger drivers will have less background navigating problematic weather or aggressive drivers out on the road.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shares that those drivers 16-19 are three times as likely to be involved in a vehicle crash when compared with drivers older than 20. This is true even when teen drivers are compared with elderly drivers. Elderly drivers often receive focus for causing accidents, but it turns out that less experience is worse than more. The Census Bureau data shows that more than 12 percent of car wrecks in the U.S. were caused by a teen driver, whereas only 7.5 percent of these crashes were caused by senior citizens.

Legislatures across the country have already begun paying attention to this trend, since all 50 states have adopted graduated drivers licensing programs (GDL) in order to give teens more practice before getting behind the wheel. Encouraging teens to practice in driver’s education as well as driving with a parent or other experienced adult could help to cut down on accidents.

Teen drivers are likely to be distracted and to have other passengers in the car pulling away their attention. Combined with a general lack of experience behind the wheel, this could prove deadly for others on the road.

If you have already been involved in a wreck with teen drivers, you may be able to recover compensation via a personal injury claim.