Have you ever heard someone complain that young people are unsafe drivers? Odds are that person points to their high crash and fatality rate. They may also complain about a perceived sense of recklessness or carelessness on the road, but what they’re really worried about is how often young drivers crash.
They do have a point. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that driving-aged teens cause about 8% of accidents and make up about 6.5% of the population. This shows that their crash rate is higher than it should be. Plus, you have to assume that not all teens of that driving age actually drive, have access to cars or have their driver’s licenses. So, the number of accidents is certainly too high.
Why younger drivers are more at-risk
But is it youth that causes it? In a sense. The big issue, in many cases, is just inexperience. These are teens who are still learning how to drive. They have only been doing it for a few months, or at best, a few years. They just have a lot to learn, and mistakes are going to be more common as they do.
Think about any other skill you have learned. Odds are, you made a lot of errors at the beginning that you wouldn’t make now, as an experienced adult who developed that skill. It doesn’t matter if it’s speaking another language, playing an instrument or playing a sport. No matter the skill, mistakes are more common at the beginning. That’s also true with driving, and it is part of the reason — though certainly not the entire reason — that teens crash too often.
Those who get injured in these accidents may be able to seek financial compensation. This can help cover medical bills and other costs. New drivers can cause accidents as the result of inexperience. While new drivers can be of any age, they are commonly teens or young adults, creating the impression that age alone makes them risky drivers.