Teenagers by and large have a reputation for being reckless and irresponsible drivers. It’s not a generalization. There is huge amount of data backing up the fact that teenagers are more dangerous behind the wheel. Here are a couple of scary national statistics:
In 2015 alone, almost 3,000 teens were killed in accidents and more than 200,000 were injured.
In 2013, treating teen injuries from driving accidents cost $10 billion.
Much of this is merely due to inexperience. Younger drivers simply do not have the practical experience they need when they encounter dangerous situations. There are also other reasons including teens having an increased likelihood to drive distracted or impaired. There is a much higher crash risk for teens in their first months of having their license, as teens 16-17 are three times as likely to be in a collision compared to those 18-19 years old.
The primary distractions for teen drivers include not only texting, but driving with passengers. The risk for a collision increases with every passenger a teen driver has in the car.
It’s a sad truth, but teens are also more likely to drive under the influence. In fact, in 2014, 17% of drivers aged 16 to 20 involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes had a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher. Statistics for the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland) do not substantially differ from the national average.
However, parent involvement has been shown to have huge influence on the safety of teen drivers. Making sure your teen adheres to graduated licensing restrictions, which limits passengers during the first year of driving when most teen driving crashes occur, as well as ensuring your teen gets adequate supervised practice behind the wheel (30-50 hours in various settings and weather conditions) can help prepare young drivers for being safe on the road. If you or your teen has been injured in a collision, you may need an attorney. Call Anderson Law for a free consultation at 509-734-1345 or contact us via the web form submission above.