Even the best-behaved and most responsible teenagers have to deal with negative social perceptions because of their age. People tend to think of teenagers as aggressive and disrespectful. Teen drivers also have a reputation for being a real hazard on the modern road. People often assume that teens are always bad drivers and that they are responsible for any crash that they experience.
The statistics on collisions certainly seem to support that stereotype. Teenagers are more likely to cause crashes and to die in motor vehicles than older drivers. Why are crashes caused by teenage drivers so common on the modern roads?
Inexperienced drivers struggle on the road
There is a sound reason that the state requires dozens of hours at the wheel prior to licensing new drivers. Experience managing a motor vehicle and responding to changing traffic conditions is the only thing that helps people stay safe at the wheel.
No amount of theoretical knowledge can replace the skill you develop when you drive. New teenage drivers still have minimal experience, so their chances of responding inappropriately when traffic conditions change are higher than that same risk for other drivers.
Passengers are a big issue
For many young adults, their social lives are the main focus in their daily lives. They want to spend as much time with their peers as possible. One teenager with a driver’s license might transport their friends to the mall or the movies, but doing so is very risky.
Other drivers can handle passengers safely, but teenage drivers with a lack of experience and the distraction of other teens in their vehicles are likely at significantly elevated risk for a crash.
Teenagers make all the same mistakes that adults do
In addition to the unique risks of inexperience and the pressure of other teens in the vehicle, teen drivers also cause crashes because of the same mistakes that result in older drivers causing wrecks. Speeding, intoxication, distraction and drowsiness are all among the top reported causes of teen driving.
When you know what puts your young adults at risk on the road, you can implement better rules to promote safe driving. Helping your teen avoid a motor vehicle crash is one of the most important safety responsibilities when you have a young driver in your household.