Teenage Drivers Are More Likely to Cause Accidents
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. A call comes in the early morning hours. Maybe it’s another parent, maybe it’s the police, maybe it’s a hospital. When you answer, the speaker says the words you dread to hear: “There’s been an accident …”
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that teenage drivers (16 to 19 years old) are more likely to cause car crashes than any other age group in the U.S., resulting in 2,333 deaths in 2015. Over a hundred times more teens were treated in emergency rooms for their injuries following a car accident. The youngest licensed drivers – 16 and 17 years old – experience the greatest risk while driving, with a fatality rate of car accidents caused by teenage drivers are three times greater than the next youngest age group.
Inexperienced teen drivers can be a danger to both themselves and to other motorists, but the most often-suspected modern-day convenience – the cell phone – isn’t actually the primary culprit of car accidents caused by teenage drivers:
“When we actually looked at what was causing the distraction [that led to an accident], we found that passengers were the #1 culprit, followed by some form of interaction with their cell phone,” said American Automobile Association (AAA) Director of State Relations Jennifer Ryan. In fact, just 58% of teens reported using their cell phone while driving, as compared to 82% for adults aged 25-39 and 72% for the 40-59 age group.
If those statistics are valid – and it wouldn’t be too surprising if teens are under-reporting their cell phone usage – it means that parents and other adults have a ways to go in setting a good example in for the next generation when they’re behind the wheel.
Even if you don’t have a teenager yourself, or one that’s old enough to drive, you’re still at risk. “Nearly two-thirds of people injured or killed in crashes involving a teen driver are people other than the teen themselves,” said Ryan.
While the potential for personal tragedy is incalculable when teens get behind the wheel, the monetary costs are far from insignificant. A 2008 study by AAA said that crashes involving drivers aged 15 to 17 in the U.S. resulted in $34.4 billion in “medical expenses, lost work, property damage, quality of life loss and other related costs.”
If your teenage is involved in a car accident, or if you’re the victim of a crash caused by an inexperienced driver, you might find yourself in need of aid while you sort out all your financial and legal troubles. USClaims can help provide the financial support you need.
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