If you recently obtained your driver’s license or you are the parent of a teen who just started to drive, it is crucial to understand the risks on the road and take steps to reduce the likelihood of a crash. Sadly, many teen lives are turned upside down due to motor vehicle wrecks, which occur for many different reasons. In fact, teens are especially vulnerable with respect to certain risk factors.
From missing school due to injuries to the loss of life and long-term mental trauma, these collisions often have a wide-reaching impact on teens as well as their friends and family members.
Looking at risk factors that affect teen drivers
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are a number of risk factors that are especially concerning when it comes to traffic accidents involving teens. The CDC lists driver inexperience as the number one cause of auto accidents involving teens, along with several other risk factors, such as distracted driving and drowsy driving. Moreover, teens who do not wear their seat belt are especially likely to sustain injuries in a crash and these accidents often happen because young drivers interact with other teens riding in the vehicle. Intoxication, nighttime driving and reckless behavior are also a factor in many of these wrecks.
Looking at the toll of teen accidents
The CDC reports that over the course of 2018, around 285,000 teens were treated in emergency rooms due to motor vehicle crash injuries and nearly 2,500 died in traffic collisions. Teens involved in auto accidents often have to miss work and face other setbacks in their lives, whether their grades drop due to difficulty in school or they suffer from a social or emotional point of view. Teens involved in crashes need to focus on their recovery and parents can play a critical role in helping their child move forward from a car wreck.