car accidents

Why Are Teens More Likely to Get Into Car Accidents

Understand the key reasons U.S. teen & young drivers are more likely to get into car accidents and fatal crashes.

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Parents say it, the insurance company says it, adult drivers say it, and even schools say it. Teen drivers are more likely to get into a car accident, and because of this, they are ridiculed for their driving.

All through, it's true that teen drivers have a higher percentage of getting into accidents than experienced drivers. Have you ever wondered what makes teens an at-risk driving group?

This article exposes why teen crashes are more common among other age groups. Also, we cover things you can do as a parent to protect your teen on the road.

Reasons Why Teens Have a Higher Risk of Getting Into a Car Accident


Many teenage drivers believe their driving skills are higher than they are. This is due to having only driven around areas near their home, like school or a nearby store.

However, when a teen driver with overconfidence enters a more high-risk driving environment, they could find themselves overwhelmed with driving complexities that only more experienced drivers could handle. Studies prove newly licensed drivers are about 1.5 times more likely to get into motor vehicle crashes than seasoned drivers.

Driving With Friends

Teen drivers, especially high school students, await the day they become licensed drivers with their own car so they might live a more free life away from their parents or be able to give their friends rides.

There's no problem in being courteous and giving a friend a lift, but when the teen driver wants to show how fast they can go or the teen passengers mess with the driver, that favor of giving a friend a ride can turn into a hazardous situation.

It's important to monitor who enters your child's car as the crash risk will only increase based on the number of passengers the teen driver is transporting.

Drinking Alcohol While Driving

About 19.7% of US high school students have had at least one drink in their life, and about 5.4% have driven after drinking alcohol.

This is one of the worst risky driving behaviors that younger drivers and older drivers partake in due to the high probability of the driver being involved in fatal crashes. In addition, alcohol use while driving is a serious crime, as well as underage drinking.

In Nevada, any driver under the age of 21 caught driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.02 can face a fine, driver's license suspension, and even a possible jail sentence.

Unlicensed Driving

About 12% of teen drivers hit the road without being a licensed driver. This presents a significant safety and financial risk.

The safety risk is that the teen may lack safe driving habits and knowledge meant to be acquired while on the path to gaining a driver's license. This puts other drivers and peer passengers at risk of motor vehicle accidents.

In addition, the financial risk displays itself in the case the unlicensed teen is pulled over while driving; there could be up to $1,000 dollars in fines and possibly six months in jail and a second possibility is that if the unlicensed teen is involved in a car accident damages caused will need to be paid out of pocket due to being uninsured.

It's essential to tell teenagers they are not ready to hit the roads, even if they have a learner's permit.

Distracted Driving

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Like drunk driving, this risk-taking behavior is prevalent in young drivers and older drivers. However, teen drivers may be more susceptible to a more extensive array of distractions than more experienced drivers.

In addition, if a seasoned driver finds themselves being distracted on the road and is thrown into a dangerous situation, they may have the reaction time and driving skills to recover from it, while inexperienced drivers get into a motor vehicle accident.

Among distracted driving, cell phone use could easily be a leading cause of teen crashes this 2024, as about 26% of teens ages 16-17 have reported using their phones while driving, making it very important that teens learn to drop their phones while driving.


What's a speed limit to a teen driver but a number on a sign? Many young drivers, especially ones whose parents bought them their own cars, engage in speeding, which can put them in dangerous situations.

According to the CDC, teen drivers are the most likely than any other age group to speed, which causes not only car accidents but also fatal crashes. As 35% of male drivers and 18% of female drivers involved in fatal accidents were speeding.

Lower this fatal crash rate and teach your teen the dangers of speeding before you allow them to start their driving journey.

Nighttime Driving

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After a sports event or attending a meet-up with friends, nighttime driving proves to be risky for teen drivers. Even though a young driver's eyes may be superior to other age groups, the teen driver lacks the driving experience and focus older drivers have.

In addition, 31% of fatal drunk driving accidents occur between 12:00 p.m. and 3 a.m., and 42% percent of fatal crashes among teen drivers between the ages of 13 and 19 happen from 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., making night driving significantly more risky for fatal crashes compared to daytime driving.

We recommend that you don't completely bar your teen from night driving but ensure you limit the number of times they do it and follow traffic laws, like staying within the legal limit and wearing their seat belt.

Passed Down Vehicles

High school students often inherit their parent's or relatives' cars. These can be older cars that lack modern safety features or are behind on property maintenance inspections.

If you are a parent on a budget but want to ensure your teen has a safe driving experience, you can find a list of affordable and safe cars here.

How To Keep Your Kid Safe on the Road

As a parent, you must overcome the fear of your kid being on the road as a young driver. However, there are still things you can do to keep your kid safe on the road, including ensuring that they wear seat belts, installing a telematics system, requiring your kid to text at each destination they reach, and staying updated on vehicle maintenance.

Need a Nevada Lawyer After a Car Accident?

No matter how many new safety features cars add or information on teen drivers comes out teen, teen-involved car accidents will happen.

And if you ever find yourself as a parent in a situation where your teen driver is involved in a motor vehicle accident, you need immediate legal support to ensure a bad event doesn't get worse.

At Rodney Okano Car Accident Law Firm, we have the experience and patience to handle any age group, and we excel in preparing and calming new drivers after being involved in car crashes.

With over 20 years of experience in motor vehicle crashes, we qualify for any level of case. If your teen driver was in a car accident in the Las Vegas area and you would like to schedule a free consultation call, (702) 566-3600.

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