Any parent who has ever tried to purchase car insurance for a newly licensed child knows that teenagers have one of the highest crash rates of all drivers. As one of the most at-risk groups in the nation, teen drivers face a wide range of hazards that can cause road accidents—both inside and outside their vehicles.
Top 4 Reasons Teen Drivers Cause Car Accidents
A federal study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported some of the specific reasons why teen drivers continue to cause car accidents in Rhode Island and across the U.S.:
Cell phone use is by far the biggest threat to teen driver safety. Over half of high school students surveyed admitted to texting and driving at least once in the previous month, even in states where texting and driving is illegal.
Nearly 25% of teenagers in the study admitted to riding in a car with a driver who was drunk, while 8% of teens admitted to drinking and driving.
Newly licensed teens lack the “drive time” of older drivers, making them less adept at handling common road hazards. A new driver may not know how to adjust speed during stop-and-go traffic, travel in bad weather, or take precautions for nighttime driving, increasing the risk of a crash.
Teenagers are naturally less able to understand and process personal risk, so it’s no surprise that 8% of teens claimed they rarely (or never) wear a seat belt. This failure to follow the rules may continue when it comes to other safety regulations such as carrying too many passengers in one car, speeding, or disobeying traffic laws in order to impress others.