Why teen drivers are the most dangerous on the road

On behalf of Gary Nitsche

Learning to drive a car can be an exciting time for a teenager - and a frightening time for his or her parents. And statistics show that parents really do have good reasons to be concerned. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010 alone, there were 282,000 teenagers injured in car accidents and another 2,700 were killed.

Common causes for accidents involving teen drivers

There are several factors that may explain why teenage drivers are more likely to get into accidents than their more experienced counterparts, as well as why they are more likely to get injured when they are in a crash.

Inexperience: Because teenage drivers are just learning the rules of the road and how to operate a vehicle, they simply are not equipped to make the decisions that drivers need to make in order to stay safe. In addition, teenagers are generally impulsive, and this quality coupled with inexperience can lead to disastrous results.

Seatbelts: Out of everyone on the road, teenagers are the least likely to wear seatbelts. Statistics show that only 80 percent of teens regularly wear seatbelts, which contributes to injuries, and even death, when these drivers get into accidents.

Speeding: Teenage drivers are more likely to engage in risky behaviors on the road, such as speeding. In addition, teen drivers also tend to tailgate more than other drivers. This further decreases the time they have to react to other motorists, which often causes them to get into car accidents.

Drinking: Despite the fact that they are not legally able to drink, teenage drivers are more likely than any other group to get into alcohol-related accidents. In fact, in 2010, about 56 percent of teenage drivers who were killed in motor vehicle accidents had been drinking and driving.

Distracted driving: If you are around teenagers, you know that they tend to be glued to their cell phones and are texting each other constantly. This behavior, unfortunately, does not end when they get behind the wheel of a car. As a result, many accidents involving teenage drivers are caused because they were texting while driving.

If you have been injured by a teenage driver

If you have been injured by a novice driver, consult an experienced personal injury attorney. You may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages. Going through an accident can be stressful and complicated, so it is best that you do not go through the process of holding the other legally driver responsible by yourself.

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