Are Teens More at Risk?

Distracted driving is a truth for people everywhere, no matter their age. But according to this infographic, teen drivers seem to be the most at risk.

What do you think? Are teens more at risk to be in danger during a crash because of their inexperience behind the wheel?

Does A Bear Sleep In The Woods ?

Gee, I don’t think you need a site like that to tell you. It’s well established that teens don’t have the decision making maturity to be safe drivers. In this country (NZ) teens start driving at 15 and have the highest fatality rates on the road.

You know that old saying, the highest risk groups are the under 25 going over 75 and the over 75 going under 25. I survived the first half of that and the second half isn’t that far away.

It’s not just teen but any driver distraction, , even the elderly are distracted by the inconvenience of lessened senses and lack of mobility where many can’t even turn their head far enough. The young drivers are just one part coupling inexperience with poor judgement.

Poor judgement is only part of the problem. Teen drivers are inexperienced…meaning they lack GOOD driving skills.

@MikeInNH Agree, and that’s usuallly the fault of having sub-par driving schools. As long as license is regarded as a birth right in the US, the standards will keep being watered down. High school driver ed has been dismal for a long time. If schools were up to British or German standards, parents would scream that their little Johnny failed twice because he had not masterd all the needed skills.

But beefing up the standards would be the death knell for any state politician; it needs a federal standard to make it work.

“Agree, and that’s usuallly the fault of having sub-par driving schools. -” as well as

having lots of driving experience with a parent that sets a good example. When we tout to each other how capable we are at 80 mph just because the traffic is light, the kids are watching and even before driving age, they remember. If you want kids to drive safely, along with the good instruction, see that they only see safe driving from the family members.

Funny, my kids were the safest, well mannered drivers I could hope for when the lived here. Then they moved to the Boston area…when in Rome.

@dagosa Yes, parents have to set an example. My son never took driving lessons from any school. We just started in the country and worked our way up to city driving. He read the instruction book from cover ot cover and passed his test without any problem.

After 27 years of driving he has only scraped the side of one car when he slid sideways on an icy throughway and scraped the guard rail.

We used the ‘Drivers Ed in a Box’ program, 100% parent instruction, 40+ hours in car. Worked pretty well.

Experience is critical, folks think that delaying licenses to, say, 18 would solve the problem. It doesn’t (much), it’s more a matter of experience.

So yes, teens are much more at risk because of their smaller skill set.

IMO, It should be much harder to GET a drivers license. In my state, you spend 20 minutes in the car with an instructor, and if you don’t do anything incredibly stupid, you pass. Teen drivers may be at highest risk, but the solution isn’t simply to wait till they’re older to let them drive.

Me as a parent…I decided when my kids could get their license. Before they turn 18 they have to have MY permission to get a license. My daughter…I let her get her’s at 16. I wouldn’t let my middle son get his until he was 17.

That may be true from an acquired skills perspective but I don’t agree that it is for focus and decision making. I would be in favor of a system where if you have an at-fault accident you lose your licence till you are 18.

Like @MikeInNH says, it’s experience that improves a driver, not just age. My state used to give out driver licenses at age 16. Several years ago, they implemented a restricted license for those aged 16-18. Not more than one passenger in car, only able to drive certain hours of the day, etc. What the results were are a decrease in car-related injuries and deaths in the 16-18 age group, and a similar increase in injuries and deaths in the 19-21 group.

Is that progress?

“High school driver ed has been dismal for a long time.”

I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but in my state, “Behind the Wheel” Driver Education was eliminated by most high schools over 15 years ago, in an effort to cut costs. Schools still have a book-based Driver Ed class (usually in 10th grade) that prepares students for the written test, but parents are responsible for providing whatever Behind the Wheel training they deem appropriate for their kids.

A little anecdote that relates to this issue:
About 20 years ago, a girl who was transferring into our high school asked me, "Can I get that Under the Wheel training?"
My response was something along the lines of, "I’ll do better than that, and I will enroll you in our Behind the Wheel course. It is much more comfortable than being under the wheel."
Of course, the humor was lost on her.

All my kids went to private high-schools…which meant that I had to pay for their drivers ed classes. It was worth it. But MOST of their driving they did with me or my wife. I would take my son out for hours on a Saturday afternoon.

Are Teens More At Risk?
Yes. We are. (Actually, being 15, I don’t have my license yet, so I cannot speak from experience on this, but the evidence supports that conclusion.)