The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gathers statistics on traffic accidents, and included in the information they maintain is data sorted by age group. The statistics related to teenage drivers aged 16 to 19 are troubling.
The good news is that there are steps parents can take to help educate young drivers so that they have a chance to avoid dangerous situations.
The age group most at risk
The possibility of a vehicle crash is higher among teenage drivers aged 16 to 19 than it is for any other age group. Newly licensed teens often make critical driving errors, and males are twice as likely as females to make the list of fatalities. Teens who have other teens as passengers are also more at risk of an accident than if they were driving alone or with an older adult.
The factors involved
There are many reasons for vehicle crashes, but in addition to lack of skill, teens are at risk for certain factors that are more prevalent in their age group:
- They are more likely to speed than are older drivers.
- They do not leave as much space between vehicles as older drivers.
- In 2015, only 61 percent of high school students wore seat belts when riding with others.
- The risk for becoming involved in an alcohol-related crash is higher for teens than for drivers in other age groups.
- In 2014, 36 percent of the male drivers who were involved in fatal accidents were speeding, and 24 percent of those who died had been drinking.
The road to safer driving
A criminal defense attorney who has seen his share of vehicle crashes and DUI convictions involving teens will tell you that parents can make a difference by ensuring that young drivers are made aware of the frequent causes of accidents. A life cut short by careless driving practices is a senseless tragedy.