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More Teens Are Behind the Wheel: Are You At Risk?

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Many teens cannot wait until they are old enough to drive. As soon as they can, they get a learner’s permit and then count the days until they are able to receive their official licenses. For a few years, however, that wasn't the trend.

The number of teenage drivers on the road began to decline about a decade ago. Many believed that the drop in interest was due to the advent of cell phones and social media. After all, many teens only want to drive so that they can hang out with their friends, and thanks to phones, FaceTime, and social media, they no longer needed to spend time together in person in order to “hang out.”

The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), noticed a correlation between the drop in teen employment rates and the drop in teen drivers.  However, between 2012 and 2014, the number of teens with jobs rose, and consequently, so did the number of teenage drivers.

Teen Driving and Employment Rates Seem to Be Related

The HLDI examined the number of rated drivers between 2006 and 2012 and discovered that the number of drivers 19 and younger had dropped. The number of rated drivers ages 35 to 54 also dropped, but not as drastically. Between 2013 and 2014, the number of teen drivers rose, while the number of older drivers continued to decline.

As the number of drivers decreased, the unemployment rate increased between 2006 and 2012 for both teens and adults. As employment rates rose during 2013 and 2014, so did the number of younger drivers on the road.

This information leads many to believe that the drop in teenage driving had to do with the fact that many couldn’t find jobs. Having a job means the need for transportation to and from, along with money to pay for the vehicles, their insurance, and gas, which makes sense as to why the number of teen drivers has increased over the past couple of years.

How Do More Teens on the Road Affect You?

Although many believe that senior drivers are the most dangerous, the evidence indicates that seniors actually drive more safely than teens. In fact, teenagers are the most dangerous drivers on the road. Now that more are spending time on the road, they could put you and your family in danger. Here, we take a look at the startling—and frightening—facts:

  • More than half of teen drivers admit to talking on their cell phones while driving.
  • The drivers who have the highest crash rate are 16-year-olds.
  • Statistics show that 16- and 17-year-old driver death rates increase with each additional passenger.
  • About one in five teenage drivers has an accident within the first year of driving.
  • In 2013, the death rate for male drivers and passengers ages 16 to 19 was more than double that of females.
  • Among male drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 who were involved in fatal crashes in 2012, 35 percent were speeding at the time of the accident, and 25 percent had been drinking.

Parent involvement is one of the most effective methods in helping teenagers become better—and less dangerous—drivers. Teen drivers with involved parents are twice as likely to wear seatbelts than those without. Additionally, 56 percent of teenagers rely on their parents to learn how to drive. This means that parents can have major and influential roles in shaping their children’s driving habits.

If you were injured in an accident that was caused by no fault of your own, the attorneys of Wayne Wright want to help. Schedule a consultation to speak with one of our caring, legal professionals by calling 800-237-3334. Be sure to request your free copy of the book Dealing With the Details After a Commercial Motor Vehicle Accident when you call.


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