Everybody seems to have a theory about who makes the worst drivers – whether they blame seniors, harried soccer parents with SUVs full of kids or folks of the opposite gender.
Statistically speaking, however, the very worst drivers are teenagers between 16 and 19 years of age. When you take into account the size of their demographic and the number of miles they drive compared to older drivers, teens are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal wreck than any other driver.
Sometimes, it’s not their age, it’s their inexperience
The reality is that people in that age group represent the largest group of new drivers on the road at any given time, which means that it’s not always their age that’s the problem – it’s their inexperience.
Drivers gradually learn through experience what presents a problem on the road and what doesn’t, so they learn to filter out unimportant things that would otherwise distract them. They also learn how to anticipate moves by other drivers and prepare accordingly. Experience is also what teaches drivers how to handle different road conditions, so newer drivers are always going to be at a disadvantage.
Sometimes, it’s the immaturity associated with their age
Without a doubt, another factor in the problem with teen drivers is their immaturity. Teenage brains haven’t finished developing, and that can lead to poor decision-making skills.
For example, they may decide to film themselves doing something foolish behind the wheel for a TikTok challenge or they may drag race a friend thinking nobody will get caught (or hurt). They may also be prone to simply taking chances that an older, experienced driver would not – and that can include things like trying to beat a light before it turns red at an intersection. All of those things can easily lead to a wreck.
Car wrecks happen all the time, and most of them are minor. The ones that aren’t can upend your entire life. If you’ve been in a wreck with a teen driver (or anybody else), find out more about what it takes to get compensation for your losses.