Driving is an exciting milestone in a teenager’s life, granting them newfound freedom and independence. However, it also comes with significant risks and responsibilities. According to the CDC, nearly 1 million teens are injured in car accidents yearly, with young males tending to be more aggressive drivers. Aside from gender, age also plays a critical role in teen driving accidents. Younger drivers aged 16 to 17 are more likely to be involved in crashes than those aged 18 to 19. This trend can be attributed to various factors, such as inexperience, underdeveloped decision-making skills, and a higher propensity for risky behavior.
Passengers can also contribute to teen driving accidents. The increased risk associated with young passengers can be attributed to several factors:
- Peer pressure: Teen drivers may feel pressured to engage in risky behaviors, like speeding or reckless driving, to impress their friends or assert their independence.
- Distractions: Passengers can create distractions by engaging in loud conversations, playing music at high volumes, or using electronic devices. These distractions can divert the driver’s attention from the road, leading to accidents.
- Lack of experience: Teen drivers may struggle with complex driving situations. The presence of passengers can exacerbate this issue, as the driver may feel overwhelmed or anxious, leading to poor decision-making.
Why Are Teens at a Higher Risk of Getting Into Accidents?
There are several reasons teenagers are more prone to getting into accidents than adults or more experienced drivers. Some of these factors include:
- Inexperience: Teen drivers have significantly less experience behind the wheel than older drivers. As a result, they may struggle with complex driving situations, such as merging onto a busy highway, navigating through intersections, or reacting to sudden changes in road conditions.
- Underdeveloped prefrontal cortex: The prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for decision-making and impulse control, continues to develop until a person is in their mid-20s. This underdevelopment can lead to poor judgment, impulsivity, and a propensity for risky behavior among teen drivers.
- Propensity for risky behavior: Teenagers are likelier to engage in risky behaviors, such as speeding, tailgating, or weaving in and out of traffic. They may also be less likely to wear seat belts and more likely to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Our Towson Personal Injury Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Can Help You After an Accident
Teen drivers are often eager to ride with their friends; however, it is vital that they first understand the basics of driving. If you or your teen has been injured in an accident, speak with our Towson personal injury lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC. Call us at 443-589-0150 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we serve clients in Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.