The age of a negligent driver can play a significant role in a car accident case. Teenagers often believe that they are invincible and impervious to life's tragedies. Unfortunately, this false sense of confidence - especially on the road - typically results in devastating collisions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), auto accidents are the leading cause of fatalities for teens in the United States. 2,333 teens ages 16 through 19 were killed in car accidents in 2015, while 221,313 required emergency medical treatment in 2014.
The four most common reasons why teenagers are more prone to being involved in car accidents compared to adult drivers include the following:
- Inexperience - Teens typically need a few years of driving experience and are not ready to properly react to dangerous road situations. The risk of collisions is particularly high during the first months of obtaining a license. Teenagers are more likely to follow other drivers too closely, underestimate hazardous circumstances on the road, and driving over the speed limit.
- Inattentive driving - The vast majority of crashes involving teen drivers occur due to inattentive driving. Motorists under 20 years of age are typically more easily distracted by their cellphones and passengers.
- Drinking and driving - In 2012, 23% of drivers under 20 years of age involved in fatal car accidents were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Speeding - Nearly 35% of teen drivers are speeding at the time the collision occurred. Male teenagers are especially at risk for being involved in high-speed, fatal accidents.