According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States.
In 2015, 2,333 teens ages 16 through 19 were killed and 221,313 were treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained in car accidents in 2014. When a teen causes a serious car crash, the outcome is often devastating for the families and everyone involved, especially if injuries are fatal.
The following are the main reasons why teen drivers crash:
- Driver inexperience – Teens with less than a couple of years of driving experience are not prepared to recognize and react to dangerous situations. The risk of a crash is particularly high during the first months after earning a license. Good driving techniques develop through experience, which means teens are more prone to mistakes during the learning stages.
- Distracted driving – Whether it’s texting while driving or having an in-depth conversation with passengers, engaging in any type of activity which takes your hands, eyes, and mind off the primary task of operating a vehicle can put you in danger.
- Drinking and driving – Driving under the influence of alcohol can result in fatal consequences for teen drivers. Combined with the lack of experience, drunk driving becomes a common occurrence for teen drivers.
- Reckless driving – Nearly 35% of young drivers are speeding at the time of the accident. Male teens are especially at risk for being involved in fatal, high-speed collisions. Other reckless driving behaviors include tailgating, as well as making illegal turns or lane changes.