Teen Driver Car Accidents Statistics, Facts and Safety Tips
Teenagers and young adults are significantly more likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents than their adult counterparts. On average, 10 people are hurt or killed every day in New York as a result of an accident involving a teen driver. Nationally, over 2500 teenagers die every year from motor vehicle crashes.
The following informational article examines the prevalence of injury-causing motor vehicle accidents amongst young adults. We explore the reasons behind these frightening statistics and reveal safety tips that parents and caregivers can utilize to keep teens safe on the road.
Prevalence of Teens Car Crashes
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of unintentional teen death in New York State. Automobile accidents involving young drivers often result in serious and debilitating injuries. On average, teen drivers spend more than 5 days in hospital after an injury crash.
Teens ages 15-19 only represent 7% of the population in the United States but account for 11% of motor vehicle crash injury costs. There are several reasons for this prevalence of young driver crashes, the top reason being inexperience.
Causes of Teen Motor Vehicle Crashes:
- Distracted Driving
- Reckless Driving
- Drowsy Driving
Driving also requires hand, eye, and foot coordination that many teenagers had not used previously. This reduces reaction time and increases the risk of fatal mistakes when abnormal situations occur on the road.
Teen drivers are also more likely to not wear a seatbelt, speed, and to ignore traffic laws and regulations.
Contributing Factors Fatal Accidents Include:
- Failure to Yield
- Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and/or Alcohol
Teen drivers are at fault in 78% of car accidents that result in serious injuries and/or fatalities.
Teen drivers are 3x more likely to suffer an automobile accident than adults over the age of 20. There are additional factors that make some young drivers more likely to be in an automobile collision.
Newly-licensed teens are at a significantly increased risk of causing a motor vehicle accident during their first few months of driving.
Male teens are more likely to be involved in motor vehicle crashes and suffer serious injuries than their female counterparts. This is because males are more likely to succumb to peer pressure, speed, and try to perform dangerous maneuvers.
Fatal accidents are more likely to occur during the night hours because of the decreased visual acuity and reduced reaction time. Teens should avoid driving at night unless necessary.
Teaching Teens to Drive Safely
Make sure that the vehicle your child drives is safe for the road, equipped with airbags, and ideally a larger vehicle. Full-size cars and SUVS offer more protection in the event of an accident
Teach Auto Maintenance
Preventative routine auto maintenance and basic repair knowledge are important responsibilities that accompany car ownership. Spend time teaching your teenager how to perform regular vehicle maintenance, including checking their oil, water level, windshield washer fluid, and tire pressure. It is also a good idea to teach your child to change their tire.
Enforce a Parent/ Teen Driver Agreement
Creating a parent/teen driver agreement is a great way to encourage safe driving practices. These agreements determine a standard of expectations for teens and reiterate the seriousness of the responsibility that accompanies a driver’s license.
There is a free template available here on the DMV website. It is also a good idea to implement additional rules and restrictions, including hours allowed to drive, passenger limits, etc.
Spend Time Driving
Lack of experience is the main cause of automobile crashes involving young drivers. The best way to prevent these accidents is to have teenagers practice driving often. The more practice a teenager has on the road, the less likely they are to cause a serious accident.
Spend as much time as possible riding along with your teen. Help your teen by practicing different times of day when traffic patterns vary. You should also have them practice driving during inclement weather.
Note how your teen performs during these high-stress driving situations and take notes. Praise your teen when appropriate and offer feedback in areas that are lacking to help them on their next drive.
Tips to Keep Teens Safe
Parents and caregivers are major influencers on teen driving habits and should lead by example. There are numerous things that parents can do to help their teenagers stay safe on the road.
1. Set Teen Driving Rules:
- No Cell Phone While Driving
- No Passengers
- No Drugs or Alcohol
- Always Wear a Seat Belt
2. Establish a Safety Clause
Establishing a safety clause in your parent/teen driving agreement is a smart way to keep teens off the road if they have consumed drugs or alcohol. Create a clause that makes them feel safe calling home for help, without punishment, rather than driving under the influence.
3. Teen Driver Programs
Require your young driver to take part in a program that teaches and encourages safe driving practices.
Goidel & Siegel New York Personal Injury Lawyers
Goidel & Siegel Personal Injury Firm cares about New York City and asks caregivers to help keep residents safe by teaching and enforcing safe practices for teen drivers.
Reach out to Goidel & Siegel today if you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident. There may be a party responsible for your injuries. Goidel & Siegel are ready to help guide you through the process to getting the compensation that you deserve.