The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tracks statistics about teen driving and offers resources to prevent accidents. According to the CDC, the following factors are major contributors to car accidents among teens:
1. Age. The younger the driver, the less experience, the more likely it is that an accident will occur. Also related to the age risk factor is the maturity of a driver. A teenage driver is not likely to exhibit the same thought patterns and self-discipline of a more experienced, mature driver.
2. Time of day. The time of day that a teenager gets behind the wheel can also play a role in the likelihood of an accident and the severity of that accident. Statistics have shown that fatal teenage auto-accidents commonly occur at night. Night driving requires skill and experience that teenage drivers are likely to be without.
3. Having other teenagers in the car. According to the CDC, having other teenagers in the car has been proven to result in more accidents and more fatalities. Teenagers are more likely to take risks and becoming distracted when they have passengers in the car.
4. Driving a smaller vehicle or an SUV. Teenagers are more likely to drive a smaller car that does not provide adequate protection in the event of an accident. There are also similar risks associated with SUVs, as a teenager is more likely to roll an SUV due to inexperience in the handling a vehicle that has a higher risk of a rollover due to speeding or over-correcting.
Statistics on teenage car accidents and teenage drivers are alarming. However, many of these risk factors can be reduced if parents take the time to educate their children to help them become smarter AND safer drivers.