Parents of teen drivers are justifiably worried about their kids’ safety while they are on the road. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2,333 teenagers between 16 and 19 died in traffic accidents in the U.S. in 2015. Another 221,313 suffered injuries in collisions that were serious enough to require treatment in emergency rooms.
To put that into perspective, in a single year, 15- to 19-year-old teenagers made up just 7 percent of the nation’s population but were responsible for 11 percent — $10 billion — of all injuries in collisions.
Those age 16 to 19 are at the highest risk of all age groups for accidents. Looking at the miles driven, teenage drivers are thrice as likely to be involved in fatal wrecks than older drivers.
Teenagers bear twice as much risk of dying as do females when accidents occur. The risk increases further with each teen passenger in the vehicle.
When teens first get their driver’s licenses, those initial driving months pose even higher risks of collisions. Part of the problem is that teenage drivers underestimate or don’t recognize hazardous situations. They also tend to err when making critical driving decisions, which can cause collisions.
Teens also drive faster and disobey speed limits more than their older counterparts. They fail to allow enough distance between vehicles, which can cause pile-ups. Evenings are especially dangerous, along with weekends, as half of all teen driving fatalities happen between 3 p.m. and midnight, and 53 percent occur over the weekend.
Were you injured in an accident with a teenage driver? You may be able to pursue financial compensation through the Texas civil courts.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Teen Drivers: Get the Facts,” accessed Feb. 09, 2018