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Teen drivers are more likely to experience motor vehicle accidents

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2024 | Car Accidents

For many teenagers and young adults, getting a driver’s license is an important rite of passage that leads to greater freedom and responsibility.

However, teenage driving can also be dangerous, as young drivers are more likely to be in accidents. Motor vehicle crashes involving teenage drivers can result in tragic consequences, including serious injury and death.

National teen accident rates

In 2020, crashes killed about 2,800 teens aged 13 to 19. Another 227,000 experienced injuries. Nationwide, motorists aged 16 to 19 are three times more likely to have a fatal crash than drivers aged 20 and older.

Factors such as inexperience, susceptibility to distractions and a higher likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors contribute to these elevated accident rates. Specifically, the presence of other teenage passengers increases the risk of an accident. Most teen driving fatalities occur at night and on weekends. Furthermore, some teen drivers and passengers do not wear seat belts, even though this simple action can improve survival rates in the event of a crash.

Georgia’s young drivers

Here in Georgia, younger drivers face similar risks. In 2020, Georgia saw a 22% increase in the number of young drivers aged 15 to 20 involved in fatal crashes, rising from 169 in 2019 to 206. Distraction plays a significant role in these accidents, with distracted driving confirmed or suspected in 35% of the crashes involving young drivers. Alcohol use, while less prevalent, is a major risk factor for young drivers, too.

Efforts to improve safety

Addressing the high incidence of car crashes among young drivers requires concerted efforts at both the national and state levels. Graduated Driver Licensing laws help ease teenagers into responsible driving. Improving driver education programs and increasing parental involvement can also guide teenagers’ driving habits. Public awareness campaigns that focus on the risks associated with distracted driving and the importance of seat belts are useful as well.

By understanding these statistics and supporting targeted safety initiatives, communities can work together to reduce the frequency and severity of teen motor vehicle accidents, saving lives and preventing injuries in Georgia and across the nation.