Teenage drivers are responsible for a disproportionate number of fatal car accidents. Drivers in any age group can, of course, cause fatal crashes. Unfortunately, though, teens cause a higher rate of fatal accidents than any other motorist age group does.
Why is this the case? Why are teenagers considered to be such dangerous drivers? There are numerous reasons that need to be considered when answering these pressing questions.
A lack of experience
Developing experience takes time. Young drivers need time to gain necessary experience and get used to making decisions behind the wheel. Many mistakes that they make happen because they just have not encountered a particular situation before. More experience reduces accident rates dramatically. But the unfortunate downside is that some of these drivers are bound to cause accidents as a part of gaining that experience.
Not understanding consequences
Inexperienced drivers tend to underestimate the consequences of their actions. They may know that something is technically unsafe – like street racing – but they assume that “it will be fine” just this once. Only in retrospect do they see how dangerous their decisions may have been.
Predisposition to distraction
Young drivers often get distracted when operating a vehicle. Maybe they’re riding with passengers and friends, who distract them with jokes, conversations or even arguments. Maybe they’re distracted by their smartphone or simply by listening to music in the car. Any distraction can reduce reaction times and cause a crash.
Aggressive driving behaviors
Finally, young people sometimes drive in particularly aggressive ways. This is especially common with young men. They are more likely to engage in street racing, break the speed limit, make aggressive passes, weave between traffic lanes and things of this nature. Aggressive driving styles often lead to accidents that could easily have been prevented.
Because teens are inexperienced, they often cause injurious accidents in addition to those that prove fatal. If you’re ever involved in a crash caused by a teen, know that you can seek civil restitution for your losses without compromising their ability to maintain a bright future.