Why Do Young Drivers Have More Accidents?
A team of professionals looked at all of the car accidents that involved a young driver. They scoured the electronic databases and looked at numerous traffic collision reports. Then, they saved all of the reports from the car or truck accidents in which a younger driver aged 16 to 24 years was found to be at fault. They found some trends worth exploring, including:
- Young Drivers Drive Faster: One of the troubling issues that parents have to contend with is their child's sense of invincibility. Many kids and teenagers think that there is no way they could possibly suffer traumatic injuries in an accident. As a result, they often drive faster than their older counterparts. Speeding increases the chances of being involved in an accident, leading to a higher accident rate in a younger population.
- Drinking and Driving: Another common problem with risk-taking behavior is that teenagers and younger drivers sometimes consume alcoholic beverages or take drugs prior to driving. Drunk driving remains a serious issue in this country despite the campaigns against it. By consuming alcohol prior to driving, people's judgment of the situation is impaired. This leads to slower reflexes and poor decision making that can lead to catastrophic personal injuries in accidents.
- Distracted Driving: Most people would agree that teenagers appear to be on the cutting-edge of technology; however, this also means that they could be distracted by it while driving. Texting and driving remove the mind, the eyes, and the hands from the act of driving. While the car could be moving at highway speeds, the young driver may not be in control of the vehicle. Texting and driving dramatically increases the risk of being involved in an accident, possibly leading to a wrongful death.
- Lack of Experience: Finally, younger drivers simply do not have the same experience with driving that their older counterparts may have. This experience places older drivers in countless situations behind the wheel, giving them the experience to react quickly to changing circumstances, allowing them to avoid an accident. Younger drivers do not have this experience, which could make the difference between taking proper evasive action and being involved in an accident.
There are a number of ways that parents and guardians can increase the amount of control that they have over their young driver that could limit the chances that they are involved in an accident. These include:
- Set a Curfew: Many risky activities occur after the sun has set. Therefore, it can be helpful to set a curfew with the younger driver and ensure that they are home at a specified time.
- Defensive Driving Classes: While driver's ed is important, defensive driving classes can provide younger drivers with some increased experience when it comes to reacting to changing road conditions. This gives them the tools necessary to take evasive action in the face of an impending accident.
- Speed Monitors on the Phone: If parents know that their teenager is going to be driving, they could install software on the phone that makes it lock when the phone is traveling in excess of a certain speed. This could make it harder for their teenager to text while driving.
- Cap the Number of Passengers: A loud car can be distracting for the driver. Limit the number of people that the young driver can have in the car at once. This will make it easier to focus on the road.
While limiting the chances that an accident occurs is important, it is always best to be prepared when it does happen. When an accident occurs, it deserves to be investigated and handled in a complete and just manner. An experienced Sacramento personal injury attorney can provide assistance by:
- Investigate the Accident Completely: Sometimes, the accident hasn't been investigated to the fullest extent possible. An attorney understands how to look at an accident from every angle, often uncovering details that may have been missed on the first pass. This could unveil information that would have been shielded otherwise.
- Property Replacement and Medical Bills: Insurance companies, regardless of their field, may be hesitant to pay out claims that have been made. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows what to say and how to say it in a way that convinces the insurance companies to honor their contract.
- Taking Legal Action: If someone was under the influence at the time of the accident, they should be held responsible for the injuries and damage that resulted from that accident. An injury lawyer can take legal action if necessary.
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident, please call me for free, friendly advice at (916)-921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.
Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 11.9.20]
:dr [cs 975] bw