Why are Teens at Higher Risk of Dying in Car Crashes?

Our Injury Attorney Asks: Can the Trend Be Reversed in Nashville?

An 18-year-old died in a car and truck accident in late October. The teen’s car had broken down and stalled on 1-40 near downtown Nashville, and a tractor-trailer crashed into it. As truck accident statistics show, the chances of surviving such a crash are very small.

Sadly, teenagers face an elevated risk of dying in car accidents compared to older drivers. We wondered why this is, and if there’s anything we can do to stop it.

Car Accident Statistics for Teenage Drivers

By examining the trends involved in car accident deaths and injuries, we can learn more about reducing the risk of traumatic crashes. These numbers, provided by the Centers for Disease Control, show how dangerous car crashes are for young people:

  • Car accidents are the number one cause of death for teenagers
  • 292,000 teens required treatment after suffering serious injuries in auto accidents
  • Each day, seven teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 die in vehicle accidents

Why Do Car Accidents Kill So Many Teenagers?

Many factors increase the chances for teens to be injured in car wrecks.

  • Inexperience: The risk of a crash is highest in the period immediately following the acquisition of a license
  • Gender: Males aged 16-19 were twice as likely to die in car accidents than females of the same age
  • Passengers: The chances of a crash increase with the amount of teens in the car
  • Risk-taking: Younger drivers are more likely to speed or follow other vehicles too closely
  • Safety: Just over half of high school students say they habitually wear seatbelts
  • Alcohol use: A very high percentage (25) of teenagers who died in vehicle accidents had alcohol in their systems
  • Distraction: Drivers under 20 make up the largest portion of drivers, age-wise, who were not watching the road when a crash occurred

Can We Prevent Teenage Deaths in Car Crashes?

By recognizing the reasons why these crashes occur, we can begin to make the roads safer for everyone. If you are a parent with a teenager driver, consider enacting the following rules:

  • No texting while driving
  • Do not drive with a full car of friends
  • No license unless he or she has proved that he or she can drive safely and responsibly
  • Stress the importance of wearing a seatbelt: it takes just a second to fasten, and it can save your life.

Fatal car accidents are always a tragedy, especially when they could have been prevented. If you lost a child or sustained a serious injury in a car or truck accident, keep the words from Psalm 34:18 in mind: “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” The Lord is with you, always. If you’re wondering about what to do after a sudden tragedy, call a car accident lawyer in Nashville to find out your options for recovering and moving forward.


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