Legal Solutions

Why are car accident rates higher for teens?

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | Personal Injury

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzes car accident statistics, among much else. What they find is that teenagers are the age group with the highest risk for causing fatal accidents. This is a disproportionate statistic because their fatality rate is much too high, considering the small size of the age group as a whole.

In every specific case, there may be a different root cause for why the teen caused the accident. One teenager may have been texting behind the wheel. Another may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Still another may have become distracted by passengers in the car, while another was recklessly racing or driving aggressively. But is there one root cause that ties all these things together?

Inexperienced drivers

As it turns out, the root cause is that teenagers are inexperienced. Someone who is 17 may only have been driving for a little over a year. They’re just bound to make more mistakes.

In some cases, teens just misjudge how dangerous different activities are. A teenager may know that it’s safer to keep a three-second following distance, but they will tailgate because they’re in a hurry. They just haven’t experienced enough different driving conditions to really understand the risk that they’re taking.

Teens do begin to understand these risks as they drive. This is why you will find a decline in fatality rates for drivers in their 20s and 30s. But it takes time for these young people to gain the experience they need, and many accidents are going to happen along the way. When other people get injured in these crashes, then they may need to seek financial compensation from the at-fault drivers.