Assessing the Risks: What are the Common Causes and Consequences of Teen Driver Accidents?

Young adults behind the wheel are one of the top causes of car accidents in the United States. It is natural to question why these situations occur so often. Reasons range from intoxicated driving to sending text messages, but the consequences can lead to dire situations no matter the cause of the accident. The spontaneous outcome of the accident may lead to a little mistake taking a large toll on the teen’s and his family’s life.


After a car accident are serious legal matters to deal with that can change a teen driver’s life. These depend on the severity of the accident and if there was any damaged property or injured victims.


The first step in preventing young people from causing car accidents is to educate them with the reasons why this is a reoccurring travesty. The more teens who are familiarized with common driving safety problems , the better they can avoid them.

Drunk Driving

While it is illegal for minors to consume alcohol, it is common knowledge that it occurs nonetheless. Drinking and handling a vehicle under the influence is illegal because of the harsh altered state drugs can inflict on the mind. It is not advised for anyone to consume alcohol and drive. One out of five teenagers who were fatally injured in a car accident in 2016 were under the influence of alcohol.


Many teens do not have the experience to understand why driving and drinking do not mix. When you’re in an altered state of mind, it is easier to mistake the colors of traffic lights and overlook pedestrians or obstacles. This cause of teen driver accidents is not rare; 16 percent of high school students reported that they had recently been a passenger to a drunk driver.


The amount of time a young driver has spent behind the wheel can affect their chances of being in an accident. This is reflected in state requirements that dictate that young drivers are to begin with a temporary license, as well as restricted driving privileges.


A lack of driving experience is not apparent to those who suffer from it. Many young adults can not imagine the dangerous and unexpected situations that may arise, and will need someone who can to guide them with factual reasoning.


Of course, only so much can be fully understood before they are on their own to experience it themselves. Only students’ teachers, paired with their parents, can determine whether they are ready to make snap decisions in unexpected driving scenarios.

Underestimate Hazardous Conditions

Many teenagers are headfast and do not know the dangers lurking on the road. This self-assured nature mixed with small amounts of time on the road results in them not recognizing hazardous conditions for what they are. Rain and ice can be so deceptive that an experienced driver can be thrown for a loop just as easily as a new driver.


Driving in hazardous conditions should be handled with more caution than if driving normally. If a snowstorm is treated the same as a sunny day, unfortunate circumstances can occur. Teaching a new driver how to handle a slick road or a foggy night is vital to them evolving into a responsible one.


Their belief that they can handle the situation is not safe when paired with weather conditions they do not have driving knowledge of.


Young drivers often celebrate their cruising freedom with their friends. The combination of driving and horse play can quickly become dangerous by causing attention to be shifted away from the road and towards the driver’s company. With every additional passenger added to the car, the chances of the young teen being involved in a car crash increases. An accident occurring to a group of teenagers driving distracted is unfortunately commonplace.


Even more well known is a teen driver alone who is texting and driving. This is one of the more well known causes of car accidents because it completely splits a driver’s attention. The best suggestion that can be given is to set the phone out of reach while in the car, so a ringing or vibrating is less distracting. There is no notification coming through your phone that cannot wait until you are no longer operating a vehicle.

Reckless Driving

Studies show that when it comes to reckless driving, teen boys are the demographic who suffer most from this issue, even though, it can happen to anyone. While some are just looking for the thrill of going fast, similar results are found in those with an altered state of mind such as extreme anger or sadness.

Many begin to believe they have the ‘skill’ to drive this way because of the caution of other drivers appearing as ease. However, even the most skilled stunt drivers can lose control when experiencing surprise variables, even if they’re not dealing with the unexpected hazards of the open road.


Reckless driving often leads to the most severe impacts due to high speeds.Teen drivers are more likely to speed than older adults.


Seat belts have been proven to aid in the safety of riding in a vehicle. To not don your seatbelt may result in fatal injuries for any unbuckled parties in the car. The seatbelt is easy to forget or even ignore because of its ‘uncool’ connotations, but an accident can happen at any moment and a seatbelt can make all the difference.


Those who remember to always wear their seatbelts are far less likely to be injured in an accident, whether they are at fault or not.


Not all consequences are immediately apparent in a car accident. Immediate consequences may become apparent such as injury, but it is important to know there are legal matter that can, and in most cases, will arise. Consequences can be far worse than simply losing your licence.

Injury or Fatalities

Depending on the degree of the accident, severe injury or even death can follow. While the teen driver may have caused the accident, there is no telling who could be hurt nearby. Many worry when they are at fault that there will be an injured party, and if in an altered state of mind, this thought becomes a reality.


Less often people consider that someone else may have to suffer the consequences of their choices. Which is something known to weigh heavily on the responsible party’s conscious for life. If the car spun out of control even passersby are in danger.

Law and Order

Collisions are often referred to as accidents. This ‘accident’ could cost a young person not only their life, but possibly their future. If someone is killed or severely injured, whether it truly was an accident or not, even a teen can be trialed as an adult and imprisoned for reckless decision making. A less severe accident can also cost a teen or their parents for years to come.

Prevent Teen Driver Accidents

Spread Awareness

People can use their knowledge of the dangers of teen driver accidents and spread awareness of the many causes. Some schools use informational driving programs to help protect their new drivers. This can range from extracurricular classes on driving or just spreading awareness of recklessness and its consequences. One precaution is to always include teen driving statistics in driver’s education courses, no matter the gruesome details.


One common method is the Mock Crash that many schools implement before prom or homecoming. A Mock Crash simulates a car accident with student actors and help from local law enforcement and medical professionals. A scenario is set where a student has caused an accident that cost another their life, and goes on to showcase the real life consequences of this tragedy to the audience.

A Parent’s Choice

As a parent it is important to honestly examine if your child is prepared to drive. Not all who are legally old enough to drive are mature enough to handle the responsibility. Driving is a learning process, it takes a lot of time to hone in on safe tactics for the road. Driving can be a great help in developing maturity in young people, but each parent has to be able to recognize where their child is on the scale of applying deductive reasoning.


If your teen already drives and you notice reckless behavior do not be afraid to take steps in rectifying the issues. Smaller consequences and education on more severe consequences can help prevent mishandling of a vehicle.


Every new generation will have to be freshly taught about driving safety. Each day there are new teens learning to drive, all of whom can fall subject to this kind of tragedy if they are not properly educated.


Many statistics and information can appear terrifying, but that should not limit a responsible teen’s chance at the freedom of operating a vehicle. Learning the causes of teen driver car accidents can equip parents to prepare their youth on common mishaps.


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