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Teens And Elders On The Road: Who Is More Dangerous?

Thursday, August 30th, 2018
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Families often come together to celebrate a teenager’s birthday, and for some, this could be a coming of age moment. Most teenagers dream of getting a car of their own because of the freedom it represents. This age group rarely gets recognized for their driving skills, however. According to statistical numbers provided in a 2013 study, older drivers are much better in handling a car on the road than younger drivers. But, some would argue that older drivers are more dangerous than teens. So, between teens and elders on the road, who is more dangerous?

Car accident statistics

Almost everyone has heard the argument that older drivers are reckless on the road because they’re too hesitant behind the wheel. Many say they fail to react quick enough to other driver’s actions. The other side of the argument is that teenage drivers are more reckless because they take foolish risks that often result in preventable car accidents. This argument can only be settled by statistics.

Statistics from 2012 and 2013 provided by the CDC showed teenage males are the most dangerous drivers on the road. Their crash rate was higher than females of the same age group and more than middle-aged drivers. The next highest crash rate was drivers between the ages of 65 and 80. This group had 5.5 times more car accidents than middle-aged drivers during the time of the study. Another surprising finding offered in this study was that drivers in their 30s and 60s have the same crash rate.

Numbers from 2015 expand upon this information. The age group most likely to be involved in car accidents is teens between the age of 16-19 years old. Over 2,300 teenagers from this age group were killed in a car accident that year. This means 6 teens between 16-19 could die each day from car accidents if this rate continues. The seriousness of this problem has been around for nearly a decade, and public agencies are desperately trying to fix this problem. The crash rate from this age group has actually decreased from the last study. However, car accidents still remain the main cause of death for teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 years old.

Driving helps keep people in the 65 years old and older age group more active and independent. However, the fatality rate of this age group as a result of car accidents has increased since the findings from previous studies. More than 6,800 adults 65 years old and older die from car accidents, which averages out to 19 individuals each day.

What puts teenage drivers at more risk?

Parents of teenage drivers often have sleepless nights when their children are out with their friends. Their biggest fear is being awoken with the news that their teenager was involved in a car accident. Too often, the numbers above are a reality for parents.

One reason for the high crash rates is that a teenager’s brain hasn’t fully developed. This translate into making impulsive decisions or using poor judgement on the road. Combine these issues with a lack of driving experience, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Teens are more likely to fail to recognize dangerous driving situations fast enough to avoid an accident on the road. Also, they’re more likely to drive over the speed limit, which gives them a shorter time span to brake before hitting another car. Compared to other age groups, teenage drivers have the lowest percentage of seatbelt usage as well. Also, the percentage of blood alcohol rate in teenage drivers is higher than any other age group.

The Graduate Driving Licensing (GDL) is a law designed to delay a teenager from gaining full access to the road until they have more experience behind the wheel. This allows teenagers to learn how to drive in low-risk situations. When this law is enforced, the results seem to be effective in reducing teenage car accidents. But, parents must obey the GDL as well because it will keep their children safe and alive.

What puts elderly drivers at risk?

Although older drivers are typically more cautious on the road, they have different risks. Car accidents can be caused by drivers who are experiencing age-related vision or hearing loss, as well as physical and mental impairments. It is thought that older drivers are involved in wrecks less often because they are wiser than younger drivers and avoid situations that create danger.

Remember, car accidents can happen at any age

In every designated age group, there are good and bad drivers, so defensive driving is important for everyone on the road. Your actions behind the wheel should prevent car accidents from ever taking place. These include obeying all traffic laws, wearing a seat belt at all times, avoiding distractions, and only driving sober.

Hiring an attorney after a car accident

If you have been hurt in a Car Wreck and need the assistance of of an experienced and caring professional, contact Attorney Dean Boyd today. You can call us at (806) 242-3333 24 hours a day or Send Us an email to learn more about our Services. You can also visit our offices at 4423 SW 45th Avenue in Amarillo, Texas or 5012 50th Street #103 in Lubbock,Texas for more information.