The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that, for years, the leading cause of teen fatalities in the U.S. has been automotive accidents. To illustrate the point, the CDC says eight teenagers ranging from 16 years of age to 19 years of age were killed every day in 2009. Such numbers make that age group four times more likely to be killed in a car accident than more senior drivers. With car accident rates dropping in recent, it appears that our roads are safer. Unfortunately, this is not the case for teen drivers.
Teen Driver Accidents Risk Factors
There are a number of risk factors to consider when discussing the prevalence of teen car accidents in the U.S., including gender, number of passengers, how long the driver has been licensed, and whether or not the driver was distracted at the time of collision.
Gender. It is reported that teen female drivers are, statistically, safer than teen male drivers, with male teenagers dying in nearly double the car accidents than females in 2006.
Passengers. Having more teens in the car can be particularly hazardous to a teen driver because the presence of peers can be distracting. There is for this reason a heightened risk of crash when a teen driver has his or her peers in the car.
License. New driver, for obvious reasons, are more susceptible to accidents. They fail to assess dangerous situations the same as a more seasoned driver, and they speed more often.
To combat some of these safety issues, some states are making it harder for teens to earn unrestricted licenses. Graduated licensing programs, popping up all over the country, place more requirements on young drivers. These programs demand more supervision while the driver is learning, more hours of practice time, and limits on how many passengers a teen may take on a ride. To read more on graduated driver licensing programs, see our article on the subject.
The danger associated with teen driving accidents are still many and varied. It is noted that teenagers are the least likely of all age groups to regularly wear seatbelts. Moreover, distracted driving, as you may know, is a growing force in this country, one that is particularly common among teen drivers.
Earlier in this article we wrote that car accidents are the leading cause of death among teen drivers. To give a bit more depth to this fact, we can tell you that distracted driving is the number cause of car accidents (and car accident fatalities) among teen drivers. And the rates of distracted driving deaths, unfortunately, is not slowing down. Cell phones and other devices are growing in prevalence and popularity, and each new generation takes to these devices with more naturally than the last.
To read more about distracted driving statistics, and the measure we can take to reduce the rates of distracted driving related deaths, see some of the other articles on the Carpey Law website; articles like:
Teen Driving Statistics
Stuart A. Carpey, who has been practicing as an attorney since 1987, focuses his practice on complex civil litigation which includes representing injured individuals in a vast array of personal injury cases.