Driving is one of the biggest causes of death and injury for teenagers in the USA across every state. Why are they such a high-risk category? The plain and simple truth is that there are multiple reasons. Teen drivers are less experienced, they don’t have the awareness, and are more likely to get distracted behind the wheel. We will explore more about this below.
When you have been driving for over a decade or even a few years, you learn a lot. Experience is the thing you need to enable smart decisions, handle a vehicle appropriately, and deal with external distractions while driving about. You only get experience through doing, and teen drivers have only logged a handful of hours in their vehicles before they are released independently. This means that dealing with standard driving challenges like random bouts of adverse weather such as heavy rain or flash thunderstorms is more frightening and causes panic where reactive decisions should be made.
An Increased Risk of Critical Errors
This inexperience leads to a defective process regarding crucial decisions. Critical errors are the things that cause crashes and injuries, and teenagers are more prone to this than any other age group on the roads. For example, a teen motorcyclist may not fully appreciate the hazards of lane splitting, so they do it anyway and cause a crash.
More Prone to Distractions
It’s no major secret that teenagers are somewhat glued to their phones. Sadly, things like driving selfies have become a trend, and thousands of teenage drivers participate. The dangers of getting a phone out in the car and posing for a picture when you’re supposed to be concentrating on the road are too big to ignore. It’s not just selfies that’s the problem here, though. Teens are also more likely to check their texts, make calls without hands-free sets and mess around switching music too.
Young drivers are also more likely to cruise around in a car full of passengers. A bunch of giddy teens in one vehicle is a recipe for disaster and it may cause the person in charge of the car to crash through loud noises, joining in the fun, or immature pranks.
The Influence of Alcohol and Drugs
While driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol happens in every age group, teenagers are more likely to do it on a regular basis. This is one of the leading causes of road collisions and is a major threat to life.
The Role of Speeding
Speeding is often cited as the reason for a crash, so where do teenagers fit in with these statistics? Teen drivers often speed because of their lack of experience, underdeveloped mindset, and need to show off in front of their peers. It is difficult to control a vehicle going at top speeds, and all of the factors above combine to create the perfect recipe for disaster.
Teens are also more active during night-time hours going to and from their social group events. They are more likely to be driving late at night once a party or gathering has ended, which means there is an increased risk of tiredness. Exhaustion and driving are never a good combination because all of the above points of lack of experience and barriers to making smart decisions are exacerbated. Throw in a tired brain, and decreased visibility, and a crash is more likely than ever.
Neglecting the Safety Belt
This age group fails to appreciate the necessity of the safety belt. While designed to protect passengers and the driver if the vehicle should enter a collision, it is not always worn by teenagers. Unless they are actively taught about the consequences, it is unlikely that this fact will change in any way that positively changes accident statistics.
The facts are the facts. Teen drivers are more dangerous than any other age group because they do not have the years behind them to make safe choices productively. The roads can change at any time, and hazards are everywhere. Safe driving demands a perceptive person behind the wheel who fully appreciates what’s at stake if they get it wrong.
Payam Law can help if you are involved in a crash with a teen driver, or you are a young person in need of representation. We appreciate that circumstances aren’t always as they seem and will work with you to find the best possible outcome.
Visit us at the following office addresses:
- Beverly Hills – 8383 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 830, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
- Los Angeles – 212 East Pico Blvd, Suite #4, Los Angeles, CA 90015
- Tulare – 100 E. Cross, Suite #122, Tulare, CA 93274
- Hanford – 13400 Hanford Armona Rd, Suite #B
Call now for a free consultation on (877) 729-2652 or (323) 782-9927.