Why Do Teen Drivers Get In So Many Accidents?
The two age groups that are involved in the most automobile accidents are senior citizens and teenage drivers. Throughout my 39 years of practicing law, I am amazed at how many of my clients are injured by drivers in these two groups.
I can understand why senior drivers get in accidents. When we’re in our seventies and our eighties, our concentration starts to go as well as our reflexes. But why do teenagers get into so many accidents. Physically, they’re in the prime of their lives. But I think we all know what the answer is –inexperience.
Teenage drivers are not only inexperienced in driving on the roadways, but they’re also inexperienced in the situations one faces in life. While an 18 year old may be an otherwise good driver, they can be distracted by their five teenage friends in the car, loud music, cell phones, etc. They tend not to drive alone and they take risks because at that age, they think that they are invincible.Teenage Driving Accidents Resulting From Inexperience
Teen Driving Laws In Pennsylvania
In 2011, Pennsylvania passed new laws limiting the number of passengers a teen driver can have in the car. Like most laws, it was enacted because of a tragedy. Teens were killed in two separate crashes, both involving multiple passengers in a vehicle driven by a teen. The new law is known as “Lacy’s Law,” named after one of the teenagers killed. Recent statistics show that Pennsylvania 16 and 17 year old driver fatalities dropped by almost a third in 2012.
I have seen many serious motor vehicle accidents in the Chester County, PA area in which a teenage driver was responsible. Some cases involved drinking. Some were due to distractions by friends in the car. A surprising amount were caused by 16 year olds with brand new cars who decided that they would test the speed of their new toys. I also remember situations where the male teenage driver was trying to show off to his girlfriend who was in the front seat. Those cases ended up with severe consequences for the passenger.
My children are no longer teenagers. When they were, I cautioned them to drive safety – turn off the radio – have no more than one friend in the car. I still remember staying up late at night until they got home safely.