Sharing the road with teen drives is an inevitable part of life, but it can also prove quite dangerous for you and everyone else on the roadway. Teens simply do not have the same degree of experience as older drivers, meaning they do not necessarily know what to do or how to avoid accidents when certain situations arise.
To put this in perspective, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that teen drivers were responsible for 11 percent of the cost of the nation’s car crash injuries in 2013, despite the fact they only made up seven percent of the population. Furthermore, some teen drivers are more likely to get into accidents than others.
Teen risk factors
In general, teens are more likely to get into serious accidents than older drivers, but male teen drivers are more likely to crash than females. In fact, fatality rates for male teens are twice as high as that of female teens, and all teens, regardless of sex, are more likely to cause accidents during the first few months they have a license. Also contributing to the accident risk for teen drivers is the number of teen passengers they have in their cars. The more teen passengers that are present, the higher the odds of an accident.
Additional car crash contributors
As you might expect, alcohol plays a role in many teen car accidents. Regardless of how high a teen driver’s blood alcohol content is, teens who drink and drive face a higher risk of an accident than adults who do the same. Teens also tend to leave less room between their own cars and others on the roadway, which means they often have less time to stop, making it hard to avoid hitting you. Additionally, teen drivers are more likely to avoid leaving enough room to stop if they have other male teen passengers riding in the car with them.
Sharing the road with teen drivers is always risky. If you have teens of your own, make sure they are aware of the risks, and that they understand the importance of maintaining safe driving practices every time they hit the road.