The Dangers of Teen Driving

A recent Delaware crash involving a 19 year old reckless driver took the life of 66 year old Nathaniel Milton. According to police, the teen swerved into a turn lane to pass a vehicle stopped at a red light and continued through the intersection, hitting Milton’s vehicle.


This type of reckless driving is not uncommon for teenagers, and it is crucial to understand the risks associated with this behavior.


The Risks of Teen Driving

Nearly 2/3 of people injured or killed in a teen driver crash are people who are not the driver.


Other risk factors that contribute to crashes by teen drivers are:


Inexperience:

  • Teens are more likely to underestimate dangerous situations. They are also more likely than adults to make critical decision errors that lead to serious crashes.

Speeding:


Speeding is a critical safety issue for teen drivers. In 2016, it was a factor in 32% of the fatal crashes that involved passenger vehicle teen drivers. A study by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) found that from 2000-2011, teens were involved in 19,447 speeding-related crashes. There is also evidence from naturalistic driving studies that teens' speeding behavior increases over time, possibly as they gain confidence.


  • Teens are more likely than older drivers to speed and allow shorter headways.

  • Among male drivers aged 15-20 who were involved in fatal crashes in 2017, 31% were speeding at the time of the crash17 and 20% had been drinking.

Seat Belt Use:

  • Compared with other age groups, teens and young adults often have the lowest seat belt use rates.

  • In 2017, 58% of drivers aged 15-20 who were killed in motor vehicle crashes after drinking and driving were not wearing a seat belt.

It is crucial for all drivers to exercise caution, abide by speed limits, and to dedicate 100% attention to the road while driving.


If you have been injured in a car crash, the experienced attorneys at Delaware’s largest personal injury and workers’ compensation law firm - Kimmel, Carter, Roman, Peltz & O’Neill - are here to help. Call 302-565-6100 to schedule a free review of your case.

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