Young drivers have more than a one-in-three chance of getting into a car accident within their first year of driving. These statistics apply to teen drivers, or those ages 16 to 19, according to research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The causes that play a significant role in the increased risk of accidents for new drivers include speeding, driving while distracted, and engaging in risky driving behavior. The CDC reports that approximately 293,000 teens between the ages of 16 and 19 are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for injuries suffered in car accidents each year. Tragically, as many as 2,500 teens that age are involved in fatal car crashes.
There are things that can be done to help these new drivers not just survive but thrive on Nevada roadways. Aside from establishing ground rules to keep them safe, encouraging them to engage in safe driving can help substantially reduce the risk of accidents for a beginner driver.
Low Risk Perception Brings Riskier Behavior
One of the significant causes of high crash rates among young and/or new drivers can be attributed to the driver’s perception of risk. Studies show that new drivers have a tendency of being overly optimistic about the likelihood of dangerous or negative incidents happening on the road. Additionally, new and/or young drivers tend to overestimate their driving abilities despite their inexperience. Examples of risky maneuvers new and/or young drivers often engage in include rapid starts and stops, driving at greater speeds, and harder braking.
Moreover, teenagers sometimes choose to engage in dangerous behaviors such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which impairs reaction time among other basic driving skills. The National Institute of Health (NIH) reports that teenagers are five times more likely to engage in risky driving behavior as compared to their parents.To help avoid this, parents should be sure to talk with their teen drivers about the consequences of bad driving choices.
Distracted Driving Affects All Ages
American drivers across the country, including those on roads in Las Vegas, Nevada, engage in distracted driving activities. Young and/or new drivers are no exception to this trend. With technology permeating every aspect of our lives and some generations being exposed to these innovations while still in the womb, using cell phones, eating, dancing to music, or chatting with passengers is typical inside vehicles on America’s roadways. Driving is an activity that requires both mental and physical concentration at all times. Even the smallest distraction can result in a tragic disaster. Distracted driving is another topic that parents and loved ones of young and/or new drivers should address before letting them get behind the wheel.
Legal Help for Nevada Car Accident Victims
In the end, the best way to help a new and/or young driver develop safe and good habits is to lead by example. If you have been hurt in a Las Vegas car accident or know someone who has, after seeking immediate medical attention, contact Parry & Pfau. Our experienced personal injury lawyers have been fighting for the rights of the injured across Nevada, and we can do the same for you.
(image courtesy of Scott Webb)