• California Teen Drivers and Why They’re Prone to Crashes
  • January 24, 2011
  • Law Firm: Mesriani Law Group A Professional Law Corporation - Santa Monica Office
  • Did you know that California teen drivers have the highest fatality rate among any other state in the U.S.?

    According to the 2008 Fatality Analysis Research, breaking down the car crashes in California involving teens yielded the following results -- of the 593 fatal accidents involving young drivers aged 15-20 years old, those killed were:

    •    217 teen drivers
    •    161 passengers
    •    148 occupants of other vehicles
    •    17 non-motorists (i.e. pedestrians)

    These statistics to underscore the fact that automobile accidents remain to be the leading cause of death for American teens in fact, 1 out of 3 teenagers die because of a motor vehicle crash. Teens (especially those from 16-19 years old) are 4 times more likely to crash than older driver and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2009, 8 teenagers die in every day from motor vehicle injuries.

    Further, teen automobile accidents costs $19 billion worth of injuries among males and $7 million among females so having a teen driver is a huge financial responsibility for parents and insurance premiums are also higher because of their propensity to get involved in accidents.

    So why are teen drivers more likely to cause a crash? According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), here are some of the reasons why:

    •    Poor hazard detection Hazard detection is a skill that young and newly-licensed drivers can only develop with experience. As they are immature, they have poorer perceptual and information-gathering abilities, hence they cannot properly identify potential threats in their environment.
    •    Low risk perception - Risk perception is an ability that requires a subjective assessment of a potential threat and how to adequately deal with such hazard. Teen drivers usually underestimate crash risks or dangers and overestimate their ability to avoid an accident.
    •    Risk Taking - A teen’s immaturity often fuels feelings of invincibility so more teenagers take driving risks or engage in reckless or negligent behavior such as speeding, running red lights, and tailgating because they are too overconfident.
    •    Failure to wear a safety restraints - More teens fail to wear seatbelts than any other age group.
    •    Lack of skill - As they are novices, teen drivers generally have not yet mastered driving skills needed to operate a vehicle safely.
    •    Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs - Being prone to engage in reckless driving behavior, teens are also more likely to drive even if they’re intoxicated. Studies show that teens who drink and drive are more likely to get in serious crashes than older drivers with the same level of intoxication.
    •    Passenger distraction - Teens are more easily distracted than other drivers, especially if they have passengers who are their peers. The risk of an accident increases as much as 3.6 if teens are driving with passengers than if driving alone.
    •    Evening crashes - Teen drivers are 3 times more likely to crash in the evening than during the day. Aside from their lack of skill and experience in driving at night, they are usually tired or impaired by alcohol.

    If you need a Los Angeles automobile accident attorney and expert legal services in the event that you or your teen was involved in a crash, the excellent lawyers of the Mesriani Law Group can surely help you out. You may call us at our hotline number: 1-866-325-4529 or visit us at 12400 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 810 Los Angeles California, 90025.