Learning to drive as a teenager is pretty exciting, and most parents are no stranger to a teen with a learner’s permit begging to get hours behind the wheel. But no matter how practiced a teen is, statistics show that teens are much more likely to be involved in car accidents than are drivers in any other age group. Here’s what teens and parents should know about teen driving and accidents, why teens are often found to be at fault in crashes, and what to do if you’ve been in a crash:
Teen Car Accident Statistics
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents are the second-leading cause of death for teens in our country. In a single year for which data was recorded (2018), there were nearly 2,500 teens killed in car accidents nationwide – that’s about seven teens every day. The CDC also reports that the risk of a crash is higher for teens than it is for any other age category, particularly male teens. Data shows that males in the age category between 16-19 are almost three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than are drivers ages 20 and older.
What Increases the Risk of an Accident for Teens?
While the rate of accident is higher amongst all teen drivers, there are three things that put teens at an even greater risk of crashing: being a male driver (again, male teens are nearly three times more likely to be in a fatal crash when compared to older drivers), teens driving with passengers in the car, and newly licensed teens. The CDC found that the risk of an accident is highest during the first months of getting a driver’s license.
In addition to these factors, there are also some driving-specific behaviors that increase the risk of crashing for both teens and other drivers. These include things such as:
- Driving while distracted (which is one of the reasons that it’s important to limit passengers in a teen’s car);
- Inexperienced driving, especially inexperienced highway driving;
- Speeding and performing other illegal maneuvers; and
- Driving while impaired or intoxicated.
Because teenagers have a higher accident rate and are more inexperienced, when a crash occurs, it’s not unlikely for the teen involved to be found at fault for the crash. While teens often get blamed for crashes, they’re not always at fault. If your teen has been in a crash that they’ve been found at fault for but you question whether or not that’s accurate, consult with our law firm for legal help.
What to Do Following a Crash
For teens and their parents, a car accident can be devastating – a teen involved in a crash may suffer severe, or even fatal, injuries. At the law offices of Tetzel Law, our Massachusetts car accident lawyers understand how disruptive and tragic a teen crash can be, and we want to help. For assistance in investigating your teen’s crash, determining fault and proving liability, calculating damages, and negotiating a settlement, call our law firm directly today at (617) 742-1700. We are here to support and advocate for you and your family.