What Age Group is Involved in the Most Car Crashes?

Car crashes are not exclusive experiences to just one age group. They can happen to anyone at any time, but data shows that new drivers are more prone to getting into crashes than others.

According to a research brief from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers between the ages of 16 and 17 have the highest crash ratings, including crash-related injuries and deaths. 

Top Reasons Teenage Drivers Cause the Most Crashes

Lack of Driving Experience

Teenagers in their first or second years of driving, especially during the first few months, statistically cause the most crashes. This is often caused by new drivers not having enough hands-on experience to recognize and react to hazards on the road.

Many teens are excited to start driving, even if they aren’t fully prepared. Proper and careful driving habits take time and experience to develop.

Driving While Distracted

Distracted driving is a problem for all driver age groups, but it’s especially prevalent among teen drivers. Examples of distracted driving include:

  • Texting while driving
  • Eating or drinking while driving
  • Checking social media or email while driving
  • Talking to car passengers or speaking on the phone while driving
  • Changing the radio or choosing music while driving
  • Putting on makeup while driving

Many teen drivers fail to realize just how dangerous distracted driving can be. Multi-tasking while operating a motor vehicle puts the driver and everyone else on the road at risk of severe crashes.

Reckless Driving

Actions like speeding, tailgating, swerving in and out of lanes, and racing are all examples of reckless driving. Young drivers are more likely to engage in these types of behaviors. Reckless driving prevents a driver from carefully watching for and responding to hazards that can cause accidents.

Teenage Passengers

Here’s an often-overlooked reason for teen driving crashes: teenage passengers. Research has shown having teen passengers in the car with a teen driver can increase the risk of reckless behavior, drunk drinking, and other unsafe practices that often cause crashes.

Lack of Seat Belt Use

Seat belts help save lives, but they can’t be effective if drivers and passengers don’t use them. Teenage drivers are more likely to forgo using seat belts. While seat belt use cannot totally prevent crashes, it can reduce the severity of injuries and help avoid death.

Staying Safe

The Pennsylvania Association for Justice has partnered with EndDD.org and the Casey Feldman Foundation to provide drivers and parents with resources to educate themselves and their driving-age children on the importance of staying focused behind the wheel. PennDOT has its own resource site, Just Drive PA, which is available at www.JustDrivePA.org.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car crash, contact our office today.

Source: https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/810853