Across the country, drivers are in danger of getting into often-serious accidents. Numerous factors can increase the likelihood of a serious accident such as drunk drivers, distracted drivers and bad weather. Teen drivers, however, remain an at-risk segment of the driving population.
In a report recently published by Minnesotans for Safe Driving (MSD), 31 teens died in “teen involved” traffic crashes and 3,600 were injured during the calendar year 2015. They define a teen driver as anyone aged 15 to 19 years old. MSD noted the main three contributing factors in teen crashes as the following:
- Driver inattention/distraction accounted for 22 percent of the crashes.
- Failure to yield accounted for 15 percent of the crashes.
- Following too closely accounted for 11 percent of the crashes.
Using data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the MSD noted several factors that might contribute to a teen accident – or the severity of the resulting injuries. These can include:
- Risk taking: The combination of immaturity and inexperience can lead many teen drivers to take risks that an older, more experienced driver would not. For example, teen drivers are less likely to buckle their seat belts and more likely to drive too fast for prevailing weather conditions.
- Hazard recognition: As they grow older, drivers build a “book of knowledge.” This experience allows them to quickly recognize a hazard – stopped traffic, swerving vehicles, poor weather – and react accordingly.
- Brain development: Research into adolescent development supports the contention that younger people are often less capable of making sound judgments and decisions regarding potentially risky behavior. Recent studies indicate that certain areas of the brain that play a crucial role in decision-making are not fully developed until around the age of 25.
If you were in a crash caused by a teen driver, it is wise to discuss your legal options with a vehicle accident attorney. Seeking monetary compensation after a car collision can help you avoid the financial peril of lost wages and medical bills.