Young drivers pose a serious risk to other road users. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that young drivers are four times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident than motorists aged twenty or older. And because they’re also prone to high-risk behaviors like speeding and aggressive driving, the accidents they cause are often especially devastating, leaving victims with painful injuries, expensive medical and repair bills, and lost wages from being unable to work.
If you’ve been the victim of a car crash caused by a teen driver, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Silkman Law can help you demand compensation for the losses you’ve experienced. We understand the unique risk factors involved in these crashes and the complex insurance issues that may be in play. Contact us today to speak with a Phoenix car accident lawyer about your case and find out what we can do to help.
Teen Driving: Statistics and Factors
The number of teens killed in car accidents yearly is a staggering 2,800, according to the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. A further 227,000 are injured in car accidents each year. To put this another way, eight teenagers are fatal car accident victims each day, while hundreds more are injured. For teens, the chances of dying in a car accident are considerably worse than for any other drivers under 80, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
And when it comes to the question of who is more likely to get in a car accident: teens or other drivers? The answer is teens, by far. In fact, the IIHS found that a 16-year-old is about 50 percent likelier to be in a car crash than a 19-year-old, who is in turn almost three times likelier to be in a crash than a 25-year-old driver. As these figures show, your odds of a car accident are higher if you encounter a teen driver on the road.
Why is this the case? Because teenagers combine inexperience with recklessness in a uniquely dangerous blend. The frontal cortex, the part of the brain that regulates impulsivity and self-control, doesn’t fully develop until the mid-20s. Because of this, teen drivers cannot fully predict how their actions on the road will impact others. For example, teenagers often underestimate how dangerous distracted driving or texting and driving is and overestimate their ability to multitask behind the wheel.
This dynamic, coupled with their inexperience with operating the car and anticipating changes in traffic flow, means teens pose a serious risk on the road. For young drivers, the high-risk years are 15-18.
So, what are the chances of getting in a car accident with a Phoenix teen driver? Here are some startling statistics from recent teenage driving accident articles by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:
- Males account for two-thirds of all teen driving accident fatalities
- 78 percent of teenage crash deaths in a recent year were passenger vehicle occupants
- Car crashes are the leading cause of death for girls 13-19
- The highest percentage of seatbelt-less drivers and passengers are teens
Teenage drunk driving accounts for about 25% of all accidents involving teen drivers, according to the Arizona State Troopers Association.
Finally, where do most car accidents happen? According to recent medical studies, nearly 90 percent of car accident injuries are sustained within ten miles of the driver’s home.