Why Are Teens Most Likely To Get Into Accidents?

According to researchers, over 57 percent of all teen driver crashes were related to three common mistakes: failure to reduce speed, inattention, and failure to yield. 

These factors make teens:

3.9 times as likely as drivers 18 and older to be involved in a crash.

2.6 times as likely as drivers 18 and older to be involved in a fatal crash.4.5 times as likely as drivers 30 to 59 to be involved in a crash.

3.2 times as likely as drivers 30 to 59 to be involved in a fatal crash.

Other factors contributing to teenage-related vehicle accidents:

Driver Inexperience

Driving experience comes with time. In the first years of driving, teens are still relatively new to driving and not as skilled at driving in a variety of weather conditions or at night then more experienced drivers.  Driving requires practice.  It can take years before new drivers feels completely comfortable behind the wheel.  Experience brings higher ability to handle all types of road and driving conditions, to react quickly, and to withstand distractions from passengers.

Faster reaction times comes from practice and experience.  Faster reaction times and smarter reactions help when drivers face split second hazards.  Such dangers include an animal in the road, the sudden stop of traffic ahead, a vehicle veering into the lane, or sudden changes in road conditions.  Newer drivers with slower reaction times face a higher likelihood of collision in such circumstances.

Texting and Driving 

In today’s technological age, almost 80 percent of teens in America own a cell phone, and almost half of them have smartphones. Consequently, texting and driving has become a major cause of auto accidents involving teens. Aside from text messaging, social media use creates the same level of distraction for young drivers.

Reckless Driving

Looking at teen car crashes, about 35 percent of young drivers are speeding at the time of the incident. Male teens are especially at risk for being involved in fatal reckless driving accidents. Other reckless driving practices include making illegal turns or lane changes, tailgating, and street racing.

Driving with Other Teen Passengers

Teenage passengers pose a major distraction to new drivers. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study found 15% of all teen crashes happened due to the teen driver interacting with one or more teen passengers. The risk of an accident doubles when the teen has only one teenage passenger in comparison with driving alone.  That risk triples when the teen driver has 2 or more teenage passengers.

Peer pressure from teen passengers significantly increases the potential for teen car accidents. Bad influence has been found to encourage inexperienced drivers to engage in racing, drinking, using drugs, and more.  The potential for a loss of focus on the road and an increased chance of an accident is obvious and documented in the research cited in this blog article.

The most common types of accidents occurring in this category include driving off the road, rear-ending another vehicle, or crashing into another vehicle while attempting a left turn.