Michigan drivers of all experience levels probably remember how nerve-wracking it was to be a brand-new driver. Learning how to operate a vehicle while also trying to watch the road is a very nerve-wracking experience for someone who’s just getting started.
Teens learning to drive have a right to be nervous. Car accidents are the second leading cause of death for teens in the United States.
New drivers face car accidents at an alarming rate. As of 2019, teenage male drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 were twice as likely as females to get into a car accident and die.
Teen drivers who are driving with other teenagers or passengers in the car are also more likely to get into an accident. The odds of an accident increase with each passenger in the car.
The highest risk factor is inexperience. The first few months of being licensed can be the most fatal as teenagers are more likely to underestimate a situation or not recognize a danger at all.
Understanding risk factors
Nighttime driving has different dangers than daytime driving does, so new teen drivers who haven’t driven at night before are more likely to get into an accident their first few times driving at night. According to studies, 40% of car accident deaths among teens happen from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Weekends are also risky for teen drivers. About 52% of motor vehicle accident deaths among teens occur on a weekend. This can be due to an increase in traffic or unpredictable behavior from other drivers.
Teens are also more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as speeding, not wearing their seat belt or using their cell phone while driving. It’s important to teach new drivers the dangers of these behaviors and to model good driving behavior for kids from a young age.