What Causes Accidents Among Teenage Drivers

Accounting for more than one-in-three teen wrongful deaths, car accidents are the leading cause of death for United States teenagers. The risk of auto accidents is higher among 16- to 19-year-old teenage drivers than among any other age group. Teenage drivers are four times more likely to get into a car accident than older motorists. Among teen drivers, males are the most likely to cause a car accident. The death rate in car accidents for male teen drivers is one and a half times that of female teenage drivers. They are also more likely to drink, speed, and not wear their seat belts compared to their female counterparts.

Lack of experience

Teen drivers have triple the fatal crash risk of older drivers, in part because they do not have the skills to recognize and avoid road hazards. Teens often spot hazardous situations such as wet roads or cars stopped on the shoulder later than more experienced drivers, and they are also more likely to underestimate the dangers of a potentially harmful situation and make a critical error that leads to a crash. The risk of an accident is highest during the first few months after the teen has gotten his or her license, and decreases as the driver gains experience on the road.

Weekend and night driving

Teenagers whose licenses no longer have night-driving restrictions are at significant risk of suffering fatal accidents. In 2014, half of all teenage deaths from car crashes took place between the hours of 3 p.m. and midnight. Weekends were also particularly deadly, with 53 percent of fatalities happening on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.


Teens are likelier to engage in activities that make it difficult to stop suddenly, including speeding and following too closely behind another vehicle. Risk-taking behavior increases with male teen drivers, especially if there are male passengers.

Driving with friends

Researchers have discovered a link between the number of teen passengers and increased crash risk when an unsupervised teenager is driving. Fortunately, some states have rules in place to prevent teenagers who are still learning from carrying too many passengers. In some states, there are restrictions like allowing those driving with a learner’s permit to only drive with a licensed driver over 21 in the front seat, and those with an intermediate license to only have one passenger in the car.

Drinking and drug use

Over a million high school teens drink alcohol and get behind the wheel every year. One survey from 2015 found that 20 percent of teenagers admitted to riding with a driver in the previous month who had been drinking alcohol. In 2014, 17 percent of drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 who were involved in fatal crashes had a BAC of .08 percent or higher.

Lax seatbelt use

Teenagers have some of the lowest rates of seatbelt use when compared with other age groups. A 2015 survey discovered that only 61 percent of high school students always wear seat belts when riding with another person. Teen drivers with involved parents were twice as likely to wear seat belts regularly.


Drivers under age 20 have the highest rates of distraction-related fatalities in the nation, especially those who text and use cellphones while driving. In 2015, the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) found that 42 percent of high school students who had driven in the past 30 days admitted to sending a text or email while driving. Students who admitted to frequent texting were also more likely to engage in other risky driving behaviors, such as drinking.

Parents Can Prevent Needless Teen Driver Car Accidents

At the end of the day, it all comes down to the parents or legal guardians of these teenage drivers. They need to make sure to not only teach but also practice the proper driving techniques every day. Children will learn from a very young age the correct manner in which they should handle themselves on the roadways. If teenagers spent their formative years learning and observing safe driving techniques, then they would be more likely to do so themselves.  When they show that they are not driving safely, then it is up to the parent to take away that privilege.

If you had a traffic accident and took some damage then you can contact any law firm such as Krasney Law. They are one of the most experienced and professional law firms in California for accidents or wrongful deaths.


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