The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that teen drivers (ages 16-19) are at a higher risk of car accidents than all other ages of drivers.
Here are some statistics to consider:
- For every 1,000 drivers, 16 year olds are involved in 61 percent of traffic accidents causing injury or fatalities.
- For every 1,000 drivers, 17 year olds are involved in 46 percent of traffic accidents causing injury or fatalities.
- For every 1,000 drivers, 18 year olds are involved in 45 percent of traffic accidents causing injury or fatalities.
- The crash rate for drunk drivers between 16-19 years of age is almost double that of all other ages.
- 35 percent of fatal injury crashes among 16-19 year olds are caused by unsafe speed.
- Of all traffic violations by 16-19 year olds, 52 percent are for speeding.
Why are teenagers such risky drivers?
According to the California DMV, several factors contribute to teens’ poor driving. Most of it comes down to maturity and experience. Many driving skills take time to master, including the ability to properly identify hazards and assess risks in driving – not to mention just basic safety and vehicle handling skills.
Teenagers’ overconfidence also leads them to take more risks than older drivers – such as speeding, tailgaiting, running red lights, violating traffic signs and signals, making illegal turns, unsafe passing, and not yielding to pedestrians.
Teenagers are less likely to wear seat belts than older drivers, and more likely to get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The incidence of car accidents increases after 9:00 p.m., perhaps due to exhaustion, DUI, or lack of night driving skills.
And finally, teens are more likely to get into an accident with passengers in the car, as opposed to driving alone – possibly because of the distraction passengers provide.
Safety 1st Driving School cares about teenage drivers and will do everything we can to keep Orange County teens safe and help lower these statistics! Check out our website for more information about our behind-the-wheel training and online driver education course – perfect for teens!