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Teens are at Greater Risk of Car Accidents

joyriding in car

Each year, it seems like more teens are getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. And according to statistics, teen drivers are involved in hundreds of thousands of car crashes each year. If your teen is injured—or if you were injured by a teen driver—then compensation might be available.

The Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2,333 teens between 16 and 19 were killed in 2015 in motor vehicle accidents. This rate is much higher than for any other group—in fact, it is nearly 3 times the rate for drivers aged 20 or older. And the fatality rate is especially high for the newest drivers. Those aged 16 or 17 had a fatal crash rate almost double that of drivers aged 18 or 19.

Another 235,000 teens had to go to the emergency room for treatment after a car crash. Although teen drivers make up only 7% of the driving population, they cause a disproportionate amount of losses in motor vehicle injuries—about 11% or $10 billion.

Risk Factors

Many factors contribute to the high rate of teen car crashes. For example:

  • Because of their inexperience, teens tend to underestimate whether a situation is dangerous. They also might not recognize dangerous decisions.
  • Teens drive over the speed limit more than other drivers.
  • Teens follow the car in front of them too closely, which increases the risk of rear-ending someone.
  • Relative to other groups, fewer teens use seat belts, which increases their risk of death.
  • Teens are less able to handle the effects of alcohol.

The presence of a male teen passenger also increases the likelihood of a car crash. Perhaps these passengers are more likely to goad drivers into taking risks, or drivers feel more pressure to show off to male passengers than to female ones.

Improving Teen Driving Habits

We all have a duty for making the roads as safe as possible for other drivers. To that end, you should strive to improve teenage driving in the following ways:

  • Encourage seatbelt use. In 2016, about half of the teens who died in vehicle crashes were not wearing a seatbelt.
  • Prohibit drinking and driving. Talk to parents if you know their child is drinking.
  • Limit your teen’s ability to transport friends in their car. This should reduce their need to show off by driving aggressively.
  • Model proper driving habits. If your children see you driving aggressively, they are more likely to drive aggressively as well.
  • Call the police if you see a teenager driving in an aggressive or erratic manner.

Injured in a Brooklyn Auto Accident? Call The Law Offices of David J. Hernandez & Associates

After suffering an injury in a car crash, you are probably unsure of where to turn. As medical bills continue to pile up, you might be unable to work or to even leave the house. Let us help. At the Law Offices of David J. Hernandez & Associates, we represent New York and New Jersey drivers injured through no fault of their own. Call us today for a free consultation, 718-407-4123, or reach out to us online.


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