Young drivers ages 16 to 19 years of age have the highest annual crash rates of any other age group, nationwide. Indeed, the fatal crash rate per mile driven for this group is 3 times the rate for drivers ages 20 and over.
Common causes of teen auto accidents include traveling with too many people in the car, lack of seatbelt use, and distracted driving. A closer look at these causes reveals that one in four teens reports either driving or riding in a car without using a seatbelt. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that wearing a seatbelt is the number one way to prevent serious injury or death in a motor vehicle accident. Young drivers are also more likely to drive while distracted by texting, playing loud music, or speaking with other passengers.
Additional causes of accidents in this age range include inexperienced driving techniques; traveling late at night or early in the morning; or driving under the influence. Split-second decisions such as driving too fast, overcorrecting after turning, or making sudden turns in intersections or in front of traffic are likely to lead to car accidents. With time, these risks may decrease.