If you live in New York and spend time traveling the state’s roadways, you may have personal experience sharing the road with teen drivers. While doing so is an inevitable part of driving, it also poses clear risks. While, through no fault of their own, teen drivers lack experience, many teens also engage in dangerous driving behaviors behind the wheel, and when inexperience and poor decision-making come together, the results can prove deadly.
According to the New York State Department of Health, teen drivers are responsible for an alarming 78 percent of crashes that lead to serious or fatal injuries. Furthermore, about 10 people seek medical treatment at hospitals every day because they are involved in car crashes where teen drivers are at fault.
The cost of an injury caused by a teen driver
While every car accident is different, the average person who suffers an injury requiring medical treatment in an accident with a teen driver ends up paying $53,000 in medical care costs. Part of this is likely due to the fact that the average hospital stay for someone injured by a teen driver is five days. Altogether, teen drivers across the state who cause injuries in accidents generate about $23 million worth of medical costs each year.
Common factors in teen car accidents
While driver inexperience is a big factor, there are numerous others impacting the number of teen-involved car accidents on New York and the rest of the nation’s roadways. Distracted driving is one of the most well-publicized, with four teens finding themselves involved in distracted driving-related crashes every day. Drowsy driving is also a common factor in teen-involved accidents, and while female teens are more likely to drive distracted, male teens are more likely to drive drowsy.
If you are a parent of a teen driver, you may be able to help combat the problem by talking to your teen about the dangers and statistics surrounding teens on the road. There is, however, only so much you can do when teens fail to follow the rules and unnecessarily endanger you and other motorists.