Parents can help reduce the risk of teen driving accidents by ensuring that their teenagers are ready to get behind the wheel. The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among teenagers than among any other age group. Teen drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are nearly three times more likely to be in a fatal car accident than drivers aged 20 and older.
Teen Drivers and Accident Risks
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Accident statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show that six teens ages 16 to 19 die every day from motor vehicle injuries. In 2015, approximately 2,500 teenagers died and more than 220,000 were treated in hospital emergency departments for serious injuries. Drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are three times more likely to die in a car crash than drivers over age 20, and the crash risk for newly licensed teens is especially high during the first year after getting a driver’s license.
Due to a variety of increased risk factors, teenage drivers have a higher risk for fatal car accidents than older drivers. Teenage drivers often underestimate dangerous conditions and make critical decision errors while behind the wheel. When combined with other common risk factors like distracted driving, speeding, drug and alcohol use, and not wearing seatbelts, teen drivers pose dangers to themselves and other drivers on the road. A car accident lawyer commonly sees serious accidents and fatalities involving teen drivers who are speeding or under the influence.
Teen Driver Safety
Parents can help prevent accidents and injuries by providing supervision and enforcing safety prevention measures for teen drivers. Safety prevention measures include:
- Increase driver experience with supervised practice
- Limit teen driving after dark
- Enforce the use of seat belts
- Discourage cell phone talking and texting
- Discourage speeding and risky driving behaviors
- Discourage the use of drugs and/or alcohol while driving
State Graduated Driving Licensing (GDL) systems reduce fatal teen crashes seen by a car accident lawyer. Under the Nevada GDL program, teens are required to obtain a learner’s permit and practice driving with a licensed driver over age 21 before getting a driver’s license. All teens under 18 are required to take a DMV-approved Nevada drivers education course, earn a Certificate of Completion, and pass a written test before obtaining a driver’s license.