Teenage drivers – a danger to us all?

Everyone knows some of the highest causes of fatal car accidents, such as drunk drivers and distracted drivers. Teenage drivers that share the road with us don’t always make our mental list of obvious concerns that we should look out for on our commute. But government statistics make it clear that the inexperience and relative recklessness of teen drivers result in a disproportionately high percentage of devastating and fatal crashes on our roadways.

The statistics on teen driver crashes

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell us that teenage drivers exceed the speed limit much more often than adults, and they tend to leave less space between their car and the car in front of them.

Teens are more likely to engage in risky behavior, such as drinking before and while driving. Driving with the same blood alcohol content results in a higher percentage of crashes for teens than in adults. Close to 30% of fatal accidents caused by teenagers involved alcohol.

The factors that increase risk

When a teenage driver has another teenage passenger in the car with them, the probability of engaging in unnecessarily risky and reckless behaviors increases tremendously. The statistics show that the danger increases notably with each additional teenage passenger. Interestingly, the presence of one adult in the car brings the risk down to normal levels.

Driving at night is also especially dangerous for teens. 44% of fatal crashes among teens occur while the sun is down, and teens are three times more likely than adults to cause an accident at night.

As drivers, we want to be aware of the biggest dangers that we face every time we get behind the wheel. As a society, we all want teenagers to stay safe on the road and avoid taking unnecessary risks that can endanger their own lives – especially if we are the parents of driving teenagers ourselves.

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