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Are teen drivers more likely to crash?

Unfortunately, car accidents with a teen-driver at fault are not uncommon.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teens between 16-19 are three times more likely to suffer a life-threatening crash than drivers who are 20 and older. Why is this the case? What can you do to stay safe with teen drivers on the road?

Why are teens more likely to get into an accident?

  • New to driving: Teens on the road have less experience dealing with possible troubling or confusing situations while behind the wheel. This can make them more likely to get into an accident.
  • Distracted driving: Phones, passengers, roadside attractions and even reaching for something in the backseat can all distract a teen driver. Research indicates that distracted driving is a factor in six out of 10 crashes.
  • Drowsy driving: teenagers need more sleep than adults, which can make it harder for them to stay awake for long periods of time behind the wheel. Similarly, if they are driving late at night or early in the morning, drowsy driving is a concern.
  • Intoxicated driving: Even though teenagers are not of legal drinking age, it does not stop them from drinking and driving. This is especially dangerous for everyone involved.

How to stay safe when sharing the road with teen drivers

  • Give them space: If you are worried about an accident caused by a teen driver, it may be in your best interest to give them as much space as possible, just in case.
  • Report it: If you see a teen driving dangerously, perhaps they are drunk driving, reporting it to the police may be beneficial.

Sharing the road with inexperienced drivers can be worrying, but it does not have to be. Watch out for teens driving in a hazardous manner and report it if you need to.

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