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What Causes Teen Car Crashes?

What Causes Teen Car Crashes?The traffic accident rates for 16-to-19-year-old drivers exceeds any other age group. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teen drivers are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash. 

Driving is a privilege, not a right. It’s important that teens own the newfound responsibilities that come with driving. There are specific causes that make teenagers such risky drivers, and understanding these causes is the key to helping your teen to stay safe on the roads and prevent themselves from becoming part of the above statistic.

Poor Hazard Detection

The ability to detect hazards in the driving environment is based on perceptual information-gathering skills and identification of potential threats. It takes time for young individuals to acquire this ability, which is why teens are more likely than older drivers to speed and allow shorter distances from the front of their vehicle to the front of the next.

Low Risk Perception

Risk perception is the ability to subjectively assess the degree of threat posed by a hazard and one’s ability to handle the situation. Young drivers tend to underestimate the crash risk in hazardous situations and overestimate their ability to avoid the threats they identify.

Risk Taking

Teenagers tend to take more risks while driving partly due to overconfidence in their driving abilities. Teenagers are more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, running red lights, violating traffic signs/signals, making illegal turns, passing dangerously, and failure to yield to pedestrians. Teenagers also tend to wear safety belts less often than older drivers.

Lack of Skill

New drivers have yet to fully master basic vehicle handling skills and safe-driving knowledge they need to drive safely. Vehicles are intricate machines and it takes time to properly maneuver any potentially dangerous machinery.

Alcohol and Drugs

Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is a common cause of serious crashes, especially fatal ones, involving teenage drivers. Teenagers who drink and drive are at much greater risk of serious crashes than older drivers with equal blood alcohol concentrations.


For teenagers, the risk of being in a crash dramatically increases when they transport passengers and the risk of a fatal crash increases as the number of passengers increases. Passengers who are same age peers may distract teen drivers and promote risky behavior.

Night Driving

The per mile crash rate for teenage drivers is 3 times higher after 9:00 pm due to night driving difficulties. These include less experience driving at night than during the day, the increased likeliness of sleep deprivation, and the fact that teenage recreational driving, which often involves alcohol, is more likely to occur at night.

For teenagers, getting a driver’s license is a major step towards adulthood and independence. However, it is also a huge responsibility and should be treated as such. No teenager should be driving without being covered by Auto Insurance. At AJ Benet, we offer a Youthful Driver program that will help your teenager to stay safe on the road.

About AJ Benet Insurance Agency

At AJ Benet Inc. Insurance Agency, we make sure that your New York Business Insurance policy includes more than the simple general liability and product liability. Our policies extend in cases where your underlying limits are exhausted. Our team of experts is willing to go the extra mile and not only protect your business but understand it. For more information, call us today at (914) 381-2040.

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