Teen Drivers: The Risks & Dangers
Teenagers face increased risks and dangers over other drivers. Teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 are 4 times more likely to get into accidents while driving than the average adult. The younger they are, the more at risk they are – 16-year-olds are twice as likely to crash per mile drove than 18-19 year-olds. In 2008, 6,428 teens were killed in car accidents.
Bachus & Schanker has compiled the above statistics to increase awareness of the dangers that teenage drivers face. Inexperience is a big reason why crash rates for young drivers are so disproportionately high, but speeding, tailgating, and distractions are also major factors.
Teen Drivers and Drunk Driving
Teen drivers aren’t as likely to drive after drinking as adults are, but their crash risk is substantially higher when they do. Teens who drink and drive are 12 times more likely to be killed than sober teen drivers.
Teen Drivers and Texting and Driving
According to the American Automobile Association, 50% of teens admit to texting while driving.
There are three main types of distractions:
- visual – taking your eyes off the road
- manual – taking your hands off the wheel
- cognitive – taking your mind off what you’re doing
Texting while driving is so dangerous because it falls into all three of these categories. Several states and municipalities have banned the use of cell phones while driving.
Teen Drivers and Graduated Licensing
Graduated licensing is a system that phases in full driving privileges. People typically start with a learner’s permit and work their way up to being licensed drivers.
Strong restrictions on teen drivers (such as nighttime driving) lower the amount of fatal crashes they experience as a whole, and insurance collision claims also see reduced rates.
As more states have begun adopting these systems, each of their crash rates have declined by 10-30%.
The 13 states that have a three-stage licensing system recommended by the NHTSA and AAMVA: California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Four states that have two stages of licensing: Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, and Vermont.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a Colorado car accident, contact the attorneys at Bachus & Schanker, LLC to learn more about your rights and how we can help. Call 866.436.8388 for a free consultation.
Teen Driving Schools in Colorado
For driving schools in other states, search DrivingLessonsSchool.com.
Sources for the Teenage Car Accident Infographic include:
- Cell Phone and Texting Laws. November 2010. Governors Highway Safety Association.
- Fatalities in Crashes Involving Young (15- to 20- Year-Old) Drivers. California Department of Motor Vehicle Teen Driver Website.
- Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)
- Injury Mortality Reports, 1999 – 2007. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC.
- Nonfatal Injury Reports. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC.
- The Dangers of Texting While Driving. FCC Consumer Advisory.
- The Facts: Graduated Licensing. NHTSA.
- Zador PL, SA Krawchuk, RB Voas. Alcohol-related relative risk of driver fatalities and driver involvement in fatal crashes in relation to driver age and gender: an update using 1996 data. Journal of Studies on Alcohol. 2000 May;61(3):387-95.
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