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Teen drivers pose risks to everybody on the road

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You may not think it's a fair statement to say that teen drivers pose a risk to everyone on the road, but it is an accurate one. Their inexperience behind the wheel means that they cannot read the traffic the way that more experienced drivers often can. In addition, they are still learning how to control a vehicle, which includes understanding what it can and can't do in certain situations.

Those are only the risks if a teen driver is doing everything right. When distractions, impairment or fatigue comes into the mix, the situation only gets worse. In fact, the leading cause of death for teens in this country is fatal car crashes.

Which teens are more likely to get into accidents?

You can't control who is driving the vehicle next to you, but it may help you to know which groups of teens tend to be at the highest risk for accidents:

  • The highest risk group is teens between the ages of 16 and 19. This age group ends up in fatal accidents more than any other age group of drivers.
  • Teens who just received their licenses have a high risk of being involved in crashes.
  • Male teenage drivers are more likely to get into fatal accidents than teen females.
  • Teenagers driving with teenage passengers are more likely to get into a fatal accident, and that risk continues to rise with the number of teen passengers.

Despite their inexperience, teens also tend to engage in dangerous behavior while driving. Many of them drive too fast for conditions and exceed the posted speed limits. Others will use their cell phones to post on social media, send and receive texts, and even watch movies and check emails. A significant number of teen accidents tend to occur over the weekends, which includes Fridays, from 3 p.m. to midnight.

What can you do to avoid an accident involving a teen driver?

Unfortunately, there may not be much you can do other than make sure you are paying attention to your surroundings. Doing so gives you the opportunity to avoid a crash, or at least minimize one. If your efforts fail, you may need time off work for medical treatment and time for recovery, both of which can affect your financial situation. A personal injury claim can help you recoup losses you incur in connection with an accident.

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