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.
But are there reasons behind this? The answer is yes.
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.
Distracted driving is a problem for all driver age groups, but it’s especially prevalent among teen drivers. Examples of distracted driving include:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car crash, contact our office today.
Comparison of Crash Fatalities by Sex and Age Group
Rates of Motor Vehicle Crashes, Injuries and Deaths in Relation to Driver Age, United States, 2014-2015.
What age group has the most fatal crashes?