Getting a driver’s license is possibly the most highly anticipated life event for many teenagers. As with many milestone achievements, becoming a licensed driver comes with certain responsibilities as well as some significant risks.
Parents of teens in the process of learning to drive are keenly aware that driving carries many dangers. Teaching your teen to drive is nerve-wracking and sobering. While many parents share their child’s excitement, they also know the risks and do their best to impress upon their young drivers how to be responsible and cautious on the road.
Teaching Teen Drivers
Teaching a teen driver all the essential rules and safe practices can be overwhelming. Helping your teen practice driving can leave you uneasy. For many parents, the feeling returns every time they stand by and watch them pull out of the driveway on their own, even after the training and licensing period is behind them.
While this momentous occasion can give new drivers a sense of freedom and maturity, they should not take this for granted. Freedom does not mean freedom from safety measures like seatbelts and road rules. Feeling mature should include acting responsible for your safety and the safety of your passengers, as well as the occupants of other vehicles on the road.
Many a teenager has taken on the responsibilities of driving with a cavalier attitude. This can be extremely dangerous as it puts everyone at greater risk of being injured in a wreck.
Fatal car wrecks claim the lives of approximately 2,000 teenagers every year in the United States. Close to another 100,000 teens are injured in car accidents.
Teenagers in the United States make up 14 percent of the population, but they account for approximately 30 percent of the fatalities in car crashes. Male teens are twice as likely as female teens to die in a wreck. The sad fact is that more teens die each year in car accidents than by any other cause.
Teen drivers may feel like almost-adults behind the wheel, but their inherent immaturity is a major factor in why their collective driving record is so poor. As a group, teens’ brains and reaction times are lacking. This is a simple fact of their development.
Inexperience also plays a role. Most adult drivers have the benefit of much more time driving, which means more exposure to unexpected or unsafe scenarios that train them on appropriate responses, an undeniable benefit especially when reaction time is of peak importance.
Teen drivers are more likely than other groups to engage in unsafe driving practices like speeding and tailgating. They are less likely to use seatbelts. Like any drivers, teens are subject to distractions and improper cell phone use while driving. Also, they may make poor decisions about drinking and driving.
Mile for mile driven, teenagers are much more likely than older drivers to be involved in a car accident. This is especially true during a driver’s first year behind the wheel.
Scary as that is, young drivers have an opportunity to take these warnings seriously and account for these age-related weaknesses in a way that allows them to pay extra attention to safety.
Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers Represent Those Injured in Teen-Related Car Accidents
If you were injured in a wreck involving a teen driver, contact a Virginia Beach car accident law firm to discuss your legal options. Call East Coast Trial Lawyers at 757-352-2237 to arrange a free consultation or submit an online contact form. From our office in Virginia Beach, we provide legal services in Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.