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Choosing the Safest Vehicle for Your Teen

Choosing the Safest Vehicle for Your Teen

Parents get to enjoy watching their children grow and hitting new milestones. One such milestone is becoming of age to legally drive. Even though many times, the prospective young driver may be more enthusiastic about the proposition of driving than their anxious parents, it is still a pivotal part of life. It is understandable why new drivers would be so excited about getting their license and the chance to travel more easily from place to place. It is also reasonable to see why parents may feel apprehensive about their novice driver hitting the road. New teenage drivers are a very high-risk group for getting into fatal car crashes. 

Looking at the statistics makes the reality of fatal crashes in teens very clear. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, reports that 2,500 teenagers in the age range of 13 years old to 19 years old were in deadly car accidents in 2018. Also during that year, there were 285,000 young teens that had to go to the emergency room to have their injuries treated. There is no underestimating how perilous teen drivers are to themselves and their passengers as well as to anyone else on the road. The riskiest group of people driving around are the 16 to 19-year-olds who have the most fatal car accidents each year. When compared to drivers that are 20 and older, drivers aged 16-19 are three times more likely to die after a vehicular accident.

What Behaviors and Factors Put Teen Drivers At-Risk for Fatal Car Crashes?

Choosing the Safest Vehicle for Your TeenThere are very specific differences between teen drivers and older drivers. The most prominent distinction is experience. New drivers just do not have the miles under their belt to be able to effectively and confidently judge different situations and sudden changes on the road or in the environment. Until a teen driver encounters the hazards and challenges that come with driving, they won’t know what to expect or how to properly and safely respond. This is why, even though new drivers are a threat on the road for everyone, they can not get better without practice.

Aside from inexperience which is something that a new driver cannot avoid, there are other behaviors that new drivers engage in more often than older drivers. Younger people overall are prone to take more risks in all aspects of their life including driving. Risky behavior with respect to driving, though, can be and should be altered. The following driving actions are careless and reckless, and are highly linked to fatal accidents:

  • Seat belts are known to reduce serious injury and decrease the chance of dying in a crash when used every time you drive your car. Teen passengers and drivers are not regularly using these safety belts. The National Occupant Protection Use Survey showed from 2016-2018 that younger drivers aged 16-24 wore their seatbelts a minimum of 3% less often than all people aged 25 and older. In fact, over 43% of highschool aged children in 2019 didn’t regularly wear a seatbelt when they were passengers in another person’s vehicle.
  • Distracted driving is a problem across the board in the United States, but is a major issue in teen drivers. A national Youth Risk Behavior Survey showed that just shy of 40% of high school students that were legally able to drive admitted that when they are driving they text or send emails.
  • The legal drinking age in Florida is 21. Anyone under 21 who ingests alcohol to any extent is doing so unlawfully. Alcohol and driving do not mix. When a person has alcohol in their system the probability that a crash will happen goes up steeply. Still, drunk teens continue to hit the road. There were 24% of drivers in 2017 that were 15-20 years old who died after a crash and had alcohol in their system. In 2018, 15% of drivers aged 16-20 that lost their lives in a deadly crash had more than the legal limit for adults in their system.
  • Speeding is another unlawful and irresponsible behavior that the United States has a serious problem with. The number of teens speeding is very high. The problem happens more often in males than females. In 2018, male teens were involved in fatal crashes as a result of speeding 12% more than deadly speeding crashes in females.
  • There are more teens driving at night and specifically on the weekend. The number of fatal car crashes with teens that happen during these times is significant. Approximately 52% of teen drivers that died traffic incidents, occurred during the weekend including Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Picking the Right Car For Your New Driver

It is to be expected that parents of new drivers who choose to purchase a car for them are concerned about safety as the top priority. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety has the following tips for parents:

  • Don’t purchase a car that has a high horsepower which may prompt a teen to speed or race.
  • Do not buy small vehicles as they lack substantial impact protection and they are not as easily seen by other drivers the way that heavier, larger cars are.
  • Don’t buy a car that is not equipped with ESC technology that helps drivers maintain control when turns must be made or if the conditions are inclement.
  • Do buy cars that have more than four stars as rated by the National Highway Safety Administration and have a strong rating by the IIHS’s crash test.

Speak to a Jacksonville Car Accident Attorney Today

Sheftall Law is a Jacksonville personal injury law firm that represents victims of catastrophic and personal injuries in the greater Jacksonville, Florida area.  The experienced Jacksonville car accident attorneys at Sheftall Law offer victims of injury accidents in Florida smart and calculated legal representation that is also cost-effective. To learn more about what tailored and personalized legal services can help you obtain the most in a Florida personal injury claim, please call Sheftall Law to schedule your free consultation at  (904) 638-7712.