- June 9, 2020
- Barnes Admin
When teens become student drivers, they’re getting their first taste of freedom and adulthood. Many times, teen student drivers are in a hurry to get their licenses and be off on the open road with their friends. Being in that rush, however, can cause new drivers to forget what they’re doing behind the wheel, becoming a real threat to others around them. The sad fact is car accidents are the leading cause of deaths of teens in the United States today.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent data, 2,364 teens in the United States between 16-19 years old were killed in 2017, with about 300,000 more needing emergency care for their car crash injuries. That means six teens died every day because of car accidents. To prevent so many young lives from being lost, it’s essential to understand why student drivers get into car accidents. Using that knowledge, we can implement better education and road regulations to help save lives.
Student Driver Behaviors That Put Others at Risk
There are specific factors that put student teen drivers at risk on the road. According to research from the CDC, the key behaviors that put others on the road at risk include:
Because student drivers are still learning, they don’t have the knowledge or skill to recognize the many hazards on the road. This lack of experience means students or teen drivers won’t always avoid dangers that more experienced drivers know to look for – like potholes, wet roads, or cars that stop near the road on the shoulder. Student drivers are likely to minimize the potential dangers of a harmful situation and make the wrong decision that can lead to a crash. Student drivers’ inexperience makes them the riskiest drivers for the first couple of months after receiving their license. The longer they drive, the more experience they gain, and the less of a threat they become to others.
● Distracted Driving
Distracted driving has long been an issue on the roads for students and mature drivers alike. As a result, texting and driving state laws are strict in most states, but that doesn’t always prevent a student or teen driver from looking at their cell phone. Drivers under the age of 20 have the highest risk of distracted-driving fatalities in the country, especially when texting or using cell phones.
● Drunk or Drugged Driving
High schoolers and teenagers across the country experiment with drugs and alcohol. One study found that 7.1 million teens between the age of 12-20 reportedly drank alcohol in the past month. In a survey done by drugfree.org, 23% of teens surveyed admitted to being in a car with another teen driver who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When a student or teen drives drunk or drugged, the consequences can be deadly.
Teens and student drivers are more likely to test the limits and engage in riskier driving behaviors. Novice drivers are more likely to become aggressive behind the wheel, and engage in speeding,
How To Prevent Car Accidents With Student Drivers
Student drivers must be supervised as they gain experience, and only under limited circumstances can a student driver with a junior driver license without supervision.
The Department of Health also recommends that parents set rules and limit driving privileges for their student drivers at home. One suggestion is to draw a parent/teen driving agreement that’s a written contract between parents and teens with rules, limits, consequences, and rewards. As student drivers gain experience, their privileges can increase after six or twelve months without accidents and violations.
With strict driving regulations in the state and individual guidance from teachers and parents – accidents involving student drivers can be reduced considerably.
Trusted Attorneys Defending Car Accident Victims
The risk of car accidents caused by student and teen drivers can be greatly decreased with education, guidance, laws, and awareness. Unfortunately, some accidents can’t be prevented, and other drivers can end up with severe injuries after being hit by a student driver. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a car accident, the personal injury attorneys at The Barnes Firm can help you recover the damages you deserve.
The car accident attorneys at The Barnes Firm are focused on injury law, and have helped victims receive millions of dollars in damages for their injuries. To speak with our trusted accident lawyers about your accident, contact us anytime by completing an online contact form, or call at (800) 800-0000. Our experienced lawyers are available 24/7.
The Barnes Firm (800) 800-0000