Earning their driver’s license is a rite of passage for many teenagers in Louisiana. Teenagers may be eager to hit the open road with their newfound independence. However, inexperience, combined with other factors, can result in car accidents involving teenagers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015, over 2,330 teens between the ages of 16 to 19 in the United States lost their lives and nearly 236,000 others were injured in car crashes. In fact, motor vehicle accidents are the primary cause of death for teenagers in our nation. Teen drivers between the ages of 16 through 19 were three times more apt than adult drivers to be involved in a collision resulting in death.
There are a number of reasons for these sobering statistics. Due to their inexperience, teenage drivers may underestimate or may not recognize dangers on the road. Teenager drivers were also more apt than older drivers to drive above the posted speed limit and tailgate other drivers. Drunk driving was also a factor in many accidents involving teenage drivers. In 2016, 15 percent of motorists between the ages of 15 to 20 that were involved in a fatal car accident had a blood alcohol content level above the legal limit. Distractions in the form of other teen passengers were also a factor in many collisions involving teenage drivers.
In the end, it is important for parents to make sure their teenagers are aware of situations that could lead to car crashes. But, driving is a complex skill, and many teenagers will fail to recognize the dangers of their behavior behind the wheel, leading to motor vehicle accidents. Of course, speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving or driving aggressively are actions that could cause car crashes, no matter how old a driver is. Therefore, it is important for all drivers to uphold their duty of care towards other drivers on the road, so they do not cause accidents that injure or kill innocent individuals.