There is no way around the fact that, when a teenager first gets a driver’s license, he or she has little to no real experience driving. For this reason, teens have a much higher risk of being involved in collisions than more experienced drivers do.
If you already know this and have a teen who recently received his or her driver’s license, you may feel both pride and dread at the same time. It may help to know where some of the trouble spots are in order to help your teen become a safer driver as soon as possible.
What do the statistics say?
Unfortunately, the statistics do not bode well for teen drivers. Until they gain enough experience, they are at risk. Here is what the data says:
- Within the first 1,000 to 1,500 miles driven, your teen’s risk is two-thirds higher than after having traveled that same number of miles.
- Without quality supervised driving practice, your teen is 65% more likely to be involved in a crash.
- Drivers under the age of 25 account for the majority of crashes involving fatigue.
- The good news is that most of the accidents caused by teen drivers are not the effect of “thrill-seeking” behavior. The bad news is that inexperience behind the wheel causes most of their crashes.
- Driving under the influence, drowsy driving and distracted driving only increase the already greater odds of your teen causing an accident.
Nearly 75% of the crashes involving teen drivers result from critical errors, such as driving too fast for road conditions, failing to continuously scan the roadway in order to detect and respond to dangers, and allowing something inside or outside the vehicle to distract them. Even experienced drivers can make these mistakes, but they may be able to respond to them better. Without much-needed experience driving, the ability to respond may prevent an accident.
What if your teen does everything right?
Sadly, even if your teen does everything right, this does not mean he or she will not end up in a collision. Another driver could make an error that causes your teen serious injuries. If that happens, you may exercise your right to file a personal injury claim against the party or parties deemed responsible. Of course, dealing with insurance companies and litigation can cause a significant amount of stress and frustration that you don’t need during this time. It would greatly benefit you to discuss the situation with a Louisiana attorney.