The key to car safety is careful driving. Risky drivers can be men or women. But the highest-risk motorists are in one age group. Teens — new license holders who are just learning to drive — are considered the riskiest drivers out there, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Why, and are teens the only unreliable drivers?
Why are teens the riskiest drivers?
According to the CDC, the age range of the riskiest drivers is 16 to 19 years old. This group is three times likelier to get into a fatal crash than drivers aged 20 or older. The CDC also says male teens are twice as likely as female teenagers to be involved in a vehicle-related death.
Factors involve their inexperience, distracted driving, and speeding. Per the CDC, teens are likelier to underestimate or not recognize dangerous situations. Their inexperience can also lead to critical errors when deciding what action to take as incidents occur.
Also, high-school teens are likelier to text and email while driving. Again, this is due to their lack of driving experience and skills, teendriversource.org reports.
Speeding is another factor. 30 percent of male teens and 15 percent of female teens were speeding at the time of their crash. These dangerous driving behaviors result in higher insurance premiums for parents.
Teens aren’t the only risky drivers
You would think that once you’re past the inexperienced stage, you’d be less likely to be involved in a crash. But that’s not true — people who reach their 65th birthday and long after are also considered high-risk drivers. The chance of getting into an accident increases over age 80, Alexander Law Group claims.
Seniors don’t have the same driving habits as teens. They’re not likely to be distracted by fiddling with a stereo or messing with a phone. However, they’re likelier to experience cognitive or physical problems interfering with driving.
Though teens can have issues with speeding, seniors have the opposite problem. The older they get, the likelier they are to drive under the speed limit. This is usually due to their declining reaction times. It isn’t always an issue, but driving too slowly can actually lead to a serious accident or a ticket.
What can be done about it?
You can do a few things to keep your teen drivers safe on the road. Get them a vehicle with advanced safety features and drivers’ aids. These will help them focus on the road if they inadvertently let their minds wander to something else, like their phones. It will also help keep your insurance premiums down a bit.
Some of the most beneficial vehicle features for teens are tech systems that warn of speeding, cross-traffic, and other issues. Some models also offer an in-vehicle report to let parents know how well their teen is driving. That way, parents can address any problems quickly.
As for seniors, driving a vehicle with abundant safety features is also a great idea. Many of today’s cars offer lane-departure warnings to alert them when they start drifting over the line.
Beginners and older drivers are two of the highest-risk groups for car accidents. By providing them with as many safety features as possible, you can help lessen their risk of injury or even death.