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What factors can increase crash risks for teen drivers?

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2023 | Car Accident, Personal Injury

There is no absolute way to prevent collisions, but specific age groups, such as teenagers, can be more prone to crash risks. Teen drivers often feel excited to get behind the wheel when they get their licenses. Driving allows them to be free and independent, helping them get around using a car like adult drivers.

Unfortunately, most teens might not have the sense of responsibility to always adhere to traffic rules and safety regulations. They could also lack the experience to manage tricky situations, such as encountering a speeding driver or unfavorable road conditions. Teen drivers often face higher crash risks because of the following factors:

  • Having passengers – Multiple passengers in the car can easily distract any novice driver. Due to this hazard, the graduated driver licensing (GDL) system often has prohibitions against passengers based on the teen’s skill level.
  • Making poor decisions – Teenagers are prone to making lapses in judgment, such as refusing to wear seatbelts or driving when feeling tired. The wrong decision could endanger them and others on the road.
  • Entertaining distractions behind the wheel – Anything can distract a driver, such as checking a text message or eating. In 2017 alone, distracted driving contributed to around 9% of fatal crashes involving teenage drivers.

Other factors can come into play, such as road obstructions or low visibility because of inclement weather.

Reducing crash risks for teen drivers

Fortunately, numerous ways exist to help teens stay safe behind the wheel. Aside from complying with GDL restrictions, any adult in their lives can help supervise them. Parents and guardians can also impose curfews to limit night driving and avoid other dangerous road conditions.

Additionally, any adult can be an example, showing teens how experienced drivers conduct themselves, especially during challenging situations. Taking these measures may seem tedious, but they could be necessary to help a teenage driver develop adequate road safety habits.