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What makes some teenagers dangerous drivers?

On Behalf of | Jun 11, 2024 | firm news |

It only takes a split second for an errant driver to run a red light, swerve into oncoming traffic, fail to slow for stopped traffic, or change lanes into you. And when any of these events occur, you can be at risk of suffering serious injuries that can last a lifetime. The best way to protect yourself from this outcome is to be as defensive as possible when driving, but that’s not always enough. So, who do you need to protect yourself from when you’re out on the road?

While anyone can be responsible for an accident, teenagers are at a disproportionately high risk of being involved in a wreck. What makes these young drivers so dangerous?

The risks teenagers pose to other motorists

Let’s start by recognizing that not all teenagers are dangerous drivers. Many of them have practiced extensively and drive safely. Yet, a fair number of these teen drivers pose a threat to other motorists. Here’s why:

  • Inexperience: Teen drivers are new drivers. Therefore, they don’t have well-developed skills, which can cause them to act erratically in certain situations. These drivers often lack the ability to identify potential hazards, too. This, in turn, can put you and other drivers at risk of a collision.
  • Distraction: Today, teens are inundated with technology and digital communications. As a result, they might be tempted to check text messages, social media, and email while driving, which takes their eyes off the road long enough for a serious accident to occur. But the distractions don’t stop there. Teen drivers can also have their minds preoccupied by social dilemmas and the passengers in their vehicles.
  • Speeding: Younger individuals tend to have a sense of invincibility. This is especially dangerous when mixed with driving. Far too many teenagers break the speed limit without blinking an eye. This, of course, increases the risk that one of these inexperienced drivers will cause a crash.
  • Fatigue: Teens have a lot on their plates. They have school, extracurricular activities, and social events that can quickly eat up their time and take away from their rest. The result is that many teens are tired when behind the wheel. This can slow their reaction time, decrease their awareness, and minimize their ability to recognize dangers. Taken together, these decreases in driving ability can heighten the risk of a serious car accident.

What can you do to stay safe from dangerous drivers?

You have to be as defensive as possible if you want to minimize your risk of being involved in a serious wreck. This includes keeping a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you, obeying all traffic laws, routinely checking your surroundings, anticipating erratic driving, and planning an escape route when surrounded by other vehicles. This can all take practice, but don’t let your attention slip when you’re out on the road if you want to protect yourself as much as possible.

What should you do if you’ve been injured in a car accident?

If you’ve been injured in a wreck, including one caused by a teen driver, then you should consider whether legal action is necessary to recover the compensation you need to offset your losses. In the case of an accident caused by a teenager, this can include suing the young driver’s parents. In the end, you need to find accountability and the outcome that best positions you for a successful recovery. So, work with your attorney to craft the persuasive legal arguments necessary to advance your position.

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