Auto Accidents and Teenage Drivers: Does Youth Make Collisions More Likely? By Steve Charpentier on September 17, 2014

A POV shot of an injured footThe team at the Charpentier Law Firm takes all cases seriously. We have seen serious injuries befall so many people throughout Central Florida, and we always work diligently to ensure that their legal rights are well represented.

This is particularly true when it comes to serious injuries sustained in auto accidents and motor vehicle collisions. Many times these kinds of incidents involve teenage drivers. We'd like to look into these matters in more detail right now.

Are teens more prone to have auto accidents?


Numbers from the Centers for Disease Control estimated that drivers aged 16 to 19 were three times more likely to be involved in a fatal auto collision than drivers aged 20 and older. In 2010, statistics suggested that seven teenage drivers were killed each day in a motor vehicle accident.

There are a number a number of reasons why teens are more likely to be involved in auto accidents than other motorists. Let's examine the reasons right now.

Driver Inexperience Can Contribute to Accidents

It can take a few years behind the wheel to really get the hang of driving. When people first start driving, they may be tentative or overreact to hazards or issues as they arise on the road. Because of this inexperience, a young driver may cause an accident to occur or may become involved in an auto accident.

Reckless Driving and Teenage Risk Taking

Even though young drivers may be inexperienced, they are also more likely to take risks and drive recklessly. The added sense of freedom that a driver's license provides can go to the heads of some young motorists, making them act irresponsibly when on the road. Speeding, running red lights, racing, and other ill-advised behaviors are common with teenagers, particularly teenage boys.

Drunk Driving and Teenage Motorists

Related to recklessness and risk taking, teenage drivers may be more likely to drink and drive. While the legal age for drinking is 21, there are plenty of minors who violate these laws and then decide to operate vehicles while intoxicated. The results can be tragic, as seen in 2013 when a Texas teen drove drunk and killed four people because of his gross disregard for safety and human life. You may recall that this sparked a major discussion about “affluenza”.

Increased Likelihood of Texting While Driving

One of the biggest dangers on the road is texting while driving. The level of distraction is significant, which is why so many states have laws that prohibit the use of mobile devices while behind the wheel. Yet teens are more likely to text while driving or even browse the internet on their smart phones while driving. It's been estimated that at least 23% of all auto accidents in 2011 involved the use of cellphone.

What Parents Should Impart to Young Drivers

If you are a parent, it's imperative that you tell your child that driving is a privilege that should not be taken lightly. Driving responsibly should be stressed while teaching your teen to drive and whenever your teen leaves the house to go out. By stressing the importance of responsible driving, you may be able to prevent serious harm befalling your son or daughter, or someone else who shares the road.

Learn More About Auto Accident Litigation

For more information about your legal options following a serious accident, be sure to contact our personal injury law firm today. The entire team here at the Charpentier Law Firm looks forward to meeting you in person and discussing your legal options in greater detail.

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Charpentier Law Firm, P.A.

Since 1989, Stephen G. Charpentier been protecting victims' rights. Mr. Charpentier:

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  • Handles cases in many practice areas including medical malpractice, auto accidents, and wrongful death

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