Teen Driver Accidents: 6 Facts to Know
February 25, 2015
In light of our recent blog regarding Oregon teen driving laws, we thought it would be timely to take a closer look at some important facts and statistics associated with teen driver accidents. So, in this three-part blog series, we will present some crucial information about teen driver accidents, with the statistics noted herein being from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
If, however, you are currently recovering from a teen driver accident or any type of traffic collision and you need some help with your financial recovery, don’t hesitate to contact the experienced Portland car accident lawyers at the Savage Law Firm. Our attorneys are dedicated to holding negligent parties responsible so that our clients can secure the compensation they deserve.
Important Info about Teen Driver Accidents
Fact 1 – Every day, teen driver accidents kill about 7 teenagers in the U.S.
Tragically, as the NHTSA reports, more than 2,600 teenagers between 16 and 19 years old are killed in teen driver accidents each year in the U.S. What may be nearly as distressing as this fact can be the facts that:
- Nearly 300,000 teens are injured in these traffic accidents each year.
- People younger than 24 only comprise about 14 percent of the U.S. population, but they are responsible causing for about 30 percent of the costs/damage caused by traffic accidents in the U.S.
While 46 states have instituted graduated driver’s license programs in an effort to reverse these trends in teen driver accidents, the NHTSA notes that much more can and should be done to continue to protect the public on U.S. roadways by reducing these (and other) motor vehicle accidents.
Fact 2 – Male teen drivers are far more likely to be involved in deadly traffic accidents than female teen motorists.
Although teen drivers as a group or demographic present elevated risks to others on the road, these risks are far more significant when those teens are males, as researchers have found. In particular, the finding has been that male teen drivers are TWICE as likely as female teen motorists to be involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents.
Just some of the reasons for this can include that, in general, male teen drivers tend to:
- Drive more aggressively than female teen motorists
- Violate traffic laws more often than female teen motorists, particularly when it comes to violating posted speed limits and not wearing seatbelts.
Here, however, it’s interesting to note that, while male teen drivers tend to be more reckless and aggressive than female teen motorists, researchers have also found that female teen drivers are:
- Far more likely to drive on restricted driver’s licenses
- More often involved in distracted driving-related crashes, especially around intersections.
Fact 3 – Distracted driving is a common cause of teen driver accidents.
Using cellphones and texting while driving has been a major focus of distracted driving prevention campaigns in recent years. While distracted driving is a problem for drivers of any age, it has become a particularly notable issue among teen drivers, as National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulators have found that:
- The single biggest distraction for teen drivers is their cellphones.
- More than 10 teens die every day in the U.S. in accidents caused by texting drivers.
- Texting while driving increases the risk of getting into a traffic accident by about 23 times.
Although many states have enacted bans on cellphone use and/or texting specifically for teen drivers, the reality is that:
- Many teens continue to ignore these laws.
- Texting while driving for teens (or anyone, really) can be as dangerous and deadly as drinking and driving.
- Teen drivers need to put down their cellphones and commit to focusing on driving safely in order to prevent distracted driving-related collisions and save lives.
Fact 4 – So too are alcohol use and speeding.
Tragically, along with distracted driving, speeding and alcohol use are among the top five causes of teen driver accidents. In fact, as the NHTSA reports regarding speeding and teen driver accidents:
- More than 35 percent of all fatal teen driver accidents that take place each year involve speeding.
- In teen driver accidents that had multiple teens in a single vehicle, speeding was factor in about half of these collisions.
- Teen drivers tend to speed more (both driving at greater speeds and driving above the speed limit more often) as they get more comfortable behind the wheel.
For alcohol and teen driver accidents, the NHTSA has noted that:
- Nearly 30 percent of the teens killed in these accidents were drunk teen drivers.
- When alcohol-related traffic accidents occur, teens are more likely than any other involved party to be killed in these collisions.
The takeaway here is that, if teens comply with basic traffic laws and remain sober behind the wheel, they can prevent teen driver accidents.
Fact 5 – When even just one other teen is in a vehicle with a new teen driver, the risk of teen driver accidents increases A LOT.
While we’ve noted that factors like distraction, alcohol use and speeding all contribute to teen driver accidents quite frequently, another circumstance that can increase the risk of teen driver accidents is having other teen passengers in a vehicle. In fact, researchers have found that the risk of teen driver accidents:
- Jumps up about 44 percent when teen motorists have even just one other teenager in a car with them
- About quadruples when three or more teenage passengers are in a vehicle with a teen driver.
Just some of the reasons for this, according to researchers and transportation safety regulators, can include that:
- Teen drivers are far more likely to behave recklessly behind the wheel when other teens are in the car.
- The level of distraction increases dramatically for teen drivers when even just one other teenager is inside of the vehicle.
To combat such distractions and risks, many states have placed restrictions on when and how many other teen passengers can ride with newly licensed teen motorists. However, federal regulators, including those at the NHTSA, are also encouraging parents to step in, talk to their teens about driving safety and set a good example for them on the roads.
Fact 6 – After teen driver accidents, injured people can rely on us for experienced help with their financial recovery.
We’ve presented some interesting facts about teen driver accidents in this blog series so far. However, if you only take one fact away from this, it should be this: if you are ever hurt by a negligent teen driver – or any negligent driver on the roads, you can turn to the Portland car accident attorneys at the Savage Law Firm for:
- Aggressive legal advocacy
- Help pursuing compensation and justice.
At the Savage Law Firm, our lawyers realize how devastating teen driver accidents can be on a physical, as well as a psychological and financial, level. That’s why we are here to fight for victims, help them hold negligent parties accountable and, ultimately, help them with their financial recovery.
Portland Car Accident Lawyers at the Savage Law Firm
Have you been hurt in a traffic accident caused by a negligent or reckless teen driver? If so, you can rely on the Portland car accident attorneys at the Savage Law Firm for experienced help and aggressive legal advocacy.
To learn more about our legal services and what we can do for you, call us at 503-222-0200 (in Portland) or at 206-957-7272 (in Seattle). You can also email us using the form on this page. We represent clients in communities in both Oregon and Washington from our offices in Portland and Seattle.