5 Common Causes of Car Accidents Involving Teen Drivers

When teenagers finally obtain their driver’s license, they view this momentous milestone as one step toward freedom. However, teen drivers have a higher rate of fatal crashes compared to their older counterparts due to their lack of driving experience, skills, and maturity. 

In fact, car accidents are the second leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nearly 2,400 teens between the ages of 13 and 19 years old were killed and approximately 258,000 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries suffered in motor vehicle collisions in 2019 alone. 

The following are the five common causes of car accidents involving teen drivers: 

  • Inexperience – Since teenagers have not been driving for many years compared to adult drivers, they are more than likely to underestimate or fail to recognize dangerous situations and commit important decision errors that can result in car accidents. 

  • Speeding – Teen drivers are more likely than their adult counterparts to engage in speeding. Unfortunately, the faster you drive, the less time you will have to properly slow down and avoid unexpected road conditions. 

  • Distracted driving – According to a 2019 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey, approximately 39 percent of high school students in the U.S. admit to texting or e-mailing while driving at least once during the 30 days prior to taking part in the survey. Additionally, teens are more distracted when their friends are in the vehicle. 

  • Drunk driving – If an adult and a teenager consume the same amount of alcohol, the teen will be more intoxicated compared to the adult. Therefore, teen drivers have a much higher risk of being involved in a collision than older drivers at the same blood alcohol content (BAC) level. Since high school and college students may engage in underage drinking, alcohol consumption is one of the most common causes of teen driving accidents. 

  • Driving at night or during the weekends – Driving when it’s dark outside is riskier than daytime driving for all age groups, but especially for teens. In 2019, 40 percent of car accident fatalities among teens between the ages of 13 and 19 years old occurred from 9 PM to 6 AM, while 52 percent occurred on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 

Parents have a responsibility to ensure their child takes the proper steps to increase their chances of avoiding an accident. Talk to your teen about the dangers mentioned above and be a good role model to ensure he/she becomes a safe driver. 

If you have been injured in a car accident in Dallas or Houston, TX, call MR Civil Justice at (214) 307-8387 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free initial consultation. We also have an office in Chicago, IL! 

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