Understanding the disproportionately high crash levels among teenage drivers

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2021 | Car accidents

Teen car accident statistics are disproportionately high. Young drivers don’t simply crash often, but they crash more often than they should based on the amount of time they spend behind the wheel compared to other populations. 

For instance, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes that teens drive fewer miles than almost all other age groups. Even so, they have crash rates that are higher than those drivers. For those from 16 to 19 years of age, the rate of fatal accidents per mile is around three times greater than the same rate for those who are 20 years of age and older. The very highest risk that researchers have noted is for drivers who are 16-17 years of age. 

Why are these rates so high?

Parents, police officers, other drivers and even teens themselves likely want to know why the rates are so high in order to prevent accidents. There are numerous reasons, such as young drivers misreading situations on the road or being more likely to break the speed limit or drive recklessly. 

On the whole, though, it usually comes back to experience. The youngest drivers have the least experience, through no fault of their own, and this causes them to crash the most. Some may make mistakes that directly lead to a crash, while others end up in wrecks caused by other drivers simply because they lack the experience to respond to take evasive action or spot an oncoming threat.

As they grow older, young drivers gain experience and learn to drive safely, and then their crash rates fall. The best thing for a teen driver is just to spend more time on the road to build that experience faster. 

Have you been injured by a negligent driver?

Unfortunately, many teens will cause accidents while learning and developing this experience. If you get injured in an accident, be sure you know what legal steps to take to recover your losses. An attorney can help you learn more.