Teenage drivers often receive a lot of bad attention for being reckless or terrible drivers. They have less experience behind the wheel and are new to the experience, so it makes sense they may not be as capable as older drivers. However, are they really more at risk for accidents?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teens are at a higher risk for a deadly car accident than older drivers.
The highest risk age group is those ages 16 to 19. Males have a higher chance of a deadly accident than females. There is also a higher risk for brand new drivers who just became licensed. Statistics also show that teens who drive with other teens in the vehicle also are more likely to end up in a crash.
Inexperience is not only the issue that makes teens more likely to suffer from a fatal car accident. Teens are also more likely not to use seatbelts, which increase the chances of death in a crash. They also may be more likely to drive distracted, which could mean anything from not paying proper attention or using a cell phone while driving.
Unfortunately, teens are also more likely to engage in reckless behaviors behind the wheel, such as speeding. They have a high level of drinking and driving as well.
Nighttime driving is another risk for teen drivers. However, this is a general risk for all drivers as it limits visibility, but teen drivers may be unable to avoid accidents due to lacking the skills needed to do so and due to issues, such as speeding.
The best way to protect teens is to teach them well and insist they have practice before letting them free on the roads by themselves.