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Teens are hard-wired to be riskier drivers

While most people are not surprised by the concept that teens engage in risky behaviors, they might not be aware of the scientific research that backs up this claim. According to a recent study, teens in countries across the world showed risky behavior that peaked until they reached the age of 23 or 24. Unfortunately, this behavior includes teens driving more recklessly than their older counterparts, speeding, and letting themselves get more easily distracted.

Teen driving statistics and consequences

In the United States, teen drivers between the ages of 16-19 are at the biggest risk of causing accidents that lead to serious injuries and deaths. Boys are at higher risk than girls, and teens driving with teen passengers also have a higher rate of traffic accidents. Newer drivers also have a higher rate of risky driving that leads to accidents, with 16-17 year olds having three times as many crashes as 18-19 year olds. More than 2,000 teens are killed, and more than 200,000 are treated in emergency rooms each year due to car accidents. Parents who allow teens on their insurance face potential rises in their premiums, and a conviction for a drunk driving offense can bar teens from jobs. Teenagers may also face a lifetime of dealing with the consequences of their poor driving behavior.

Teen behavior and context

Teens have an inability to control their impulses, but not all teenagers engage in reckless behavior at the same rate. Other factors intervene to help control teens' susceptibility to risk-taking - and how they act when confronted with strong impulses. And while parents may feel that have little control over their teens' behavior, education and role-modeling can make a real difference.

How parents can help

  • Give teens extra practice behind the wheel or enroll them in driver education courses
  • Take teens driving in various conditions, with added practice in areas in which they struggle
  • Set a probationary period during which teens must engage in good driving behavior in order to earn more driving privileges
  • Ensure that teens' cars have proper safety equipment
  • Set a good example

It may be difficult to create an environment in which teens learn to control their impulses, but the context in which their behavior occurs does matter. Taking steps to ensure teens view their potential behaviors in a new light can help prevent accidents, injuries and legal issues for teen drivers.

Unfortunately, teens still regularly become involved in accidents, often causing injury not only to themselves, but to passengers and other drivers.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the financial and emotional costs are significant. In addition to medical expenses incurred directly after the accident, you may need future or ongoing medical treatment, or have expenses relating to a disability or permanent impairment. You may suffer lost wages and the inability to pursue your chosen career. In addition, there is the pain and suffering associated with a serious injury, which is compensable under Florida law. These are just examples of potential costs associated with a serious car accident.

Learn about your rights and legal options regarding compensation and help to be made whole by speaking to a personal injury attorney.

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