Each year, excited teenagers earn their driver’s licenses and can’t wait to hit the road. However, this newfound freedom comes with the sobering reality that teenage drivers are at a higher risk of being involved in a car accident than other drivers. As a parent, this can feel nerve-wracking.
Knowledge is power, so we’ll delve into the statistics surrounding teenage drivers in the United States and in Texas. As you help your child acclimate to driving, you can use these statistics to help teach them about the importance of driving safely and responsibly.
Teenagers and Car Accidents
In the United States
According to the CDC, approximately 2,800 teens between the ages of 13 and 19 were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2020, and about 227,000 were injured. This makes motor vehicle crashes one of the leading causes of teen death in the U.S.
For teens who are ages 16 to 19, the risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher than any other age group. And in 2020, males in this specific age group had a motor vehicle crash death rate three times as high as the death rate for female drivers in the same age group.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, between 2014 and 2020,
motor vehicle deaths were the top cause of death for Texas residents between ages 13 and 24. In 2020, there were 233 vehicle deaths of young people between the ages of 15 and 24.
TxDOT collects and analyzes crash data submitted by Texas law enforcement officers and their latest available data on motor vehicle fatalities is from 2021. That year, 149 teens between the ages of 14 and 19 died from vehicle accidents, excluding motorcycles.
Why Are Teens More at Risk for Vehicle Accidents?
While accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, some of which are out of our control, teens tend to engage in riskier driving behaviors, such as:
- Distracted driving, such as using their phone, eating and chatting with passengers
- Not wearing a seatbelt
- Driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol
- Driving while sleepy, drowsy or tired
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also points out that teen drivers have less experience on the road and more immaturity. They may not know how to handle potential hazards and are more likely to make mistakes while driving.
That’s why it’s so important to practice responsible driving skills with your teen, be a good role model, and teach them about safety. Establish ground rules for driving, reminding them that driving is a privilege that can be taken away if they’re irresponsible.
Need Guidance for Your Teen Driver? Call Our Dallas Law Firm to Learn More
If your teen does get into an accident, it’s important to talk to an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. At Ted B. Lyon & Associates, we’ll be happy to discuss your situation and guide you through your options.
Speak with one of the knowledgeable professionals at our Dallas firm today by calling us at 800-TedLyon or send us a message online.