Driving is a milestone for any teenager and comes with a long list of new responsibilities. Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and driving safely requires practice, concentration, and the ability to focus attention on the road without becoming distracted.
Because teenage drivers have less experience than other more seasoned drivers, they are at a higher risk of being involved in an accident. Even a teenager who has gone through a driver’s education course, who has spent a lot of time behind the wheel, and who understands the importance of defensive driving might be less equipped to react correctly in a dangerous situation.
Most common risks of Teen Drivers
There are certain risks that are more prevalent when it comes to teenage drivers. These could include:
Driving while distracted
One of the most common dangers when it comes to teenage drivers is distracted driving. Distracted driving refers to any activity that takes the driver’s attention away from the task at hand, keeping their eyes and focus on the road. Teenagers are especially prone to distracted driving when they are using their cell phones to text, send pictures, and post to social media.
Inexperience results in slower reaction time – The simple fact that teenagers have fewer hours on the road means that they are at a higher risk of reacting incorrectly when faced with a sudden and dangerous situation while driving. For example, they might be unsure of how to react when someone makes a sudden lane change without turning on their blinker, or they might be a bit slower to react when faced with poor road conditions due to bad weather.
Drinking and driving
The teenage years are a time for exploring and having fun, but unfortunately, many teens also take this as a time to engage in illegal activities like underage drinking. This can quickly lead to other poor decisions like getting behind the wheel after having a few drinks. Drinking and driving are dangerous to everyone involved, and when coupled with an inexperienced driver, the results can lead to serious injury.
Night driving with reduced visibility
Driving at night is different than driving when the roads are clearly lit. Driving when it is dark out takes additional concentration and the driver must pay careful attention. Inexperienced teenage drivers are at risk of injuring a pedestrian or another driver at night when it is more difficult to see the surroundings.
Red Light Awareness
According to the National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR), a glaring number of drivers run red lights. This is why they are once again raising awareness to stop at red lights through the annual National Stop on Red Week. This campaign is designed to raise awareness about the hazards of running red lights and how it causes car accidents.
Approximately 850 people were killed in 2019 due to crashes involving red-light running, according to the NHTSA. The top cause of crashes in urban settings in the U.S. is red-light running, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
In addition, the NCSR says that 1 in 3 people in the U.S. know at least one person who got injured or was killed in a crash involving running a red light. This might be just a number, but that number represents a human life that was taken away in an instant because a negligent driver decided to run a red light.
Speak with an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Right Away
If you or someone you know has been injured by a teenage driver, the situation can be incredibly frustrating. Your priority should be finding a car accident attorney that understands the difficulties of dealing with injuries sustained in an accident with a teenage driver.
Teenage drivers are typically a bit inexperienced, and it is easy to start imagining that the accident might not have occurred with a more seasoned driver.