For New Drivers, Practice Makes Perfect
Practice makes perfect! You’ve likely heard this saying before, like when you’re practicing your swing on the golf course or working in the kitchen on a complex recipe. No matter the task, motivation and resilience often pays off, leaving you glad that you didn’t give up. But on the roads, new drivers who are practicing their driving skills can cause trouble, no matter how determined they are to get it right.
For teenagers—and anyone who is learning to get behind the wheel—practice is an important step. Their driving journey often begins in parking lots, where they are able to practice the basics in a safe environment. But they can’t get the full experience that way. Getting on the real roads is a step toward become a responsible driver.
Young Driver Statistics
However, new drivers are more likely to make mistakes or forget the basic rules. This means that despite their best intentions, new drivers can be a hazard on the roads. According to the Center for Disease Control, drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 are the most at-risk group for fatal car accidents. They are nearly three times more likely than drivers 20 and older to be involved in a fatal crash. This shows how even a few extra years of experience can make a large difference.
One big issue for young drivers is speeding. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding was a factor in 32% of all accidents involving male drivers under the age of 24, and in 19% of all accidents with female drivers in the same age range. Similarly, new drivers are more likely to engage in other reckless or aggressive driving behavior, like tailgating. This is sometimes because new drivers are showing off their sweet new ride to friends. They might also feel empowered and invincible once they finally get the responsibility of a car.
What Causes Issues for New Drivers?
Drunk and distracted driving is another common issue among new drivers. In 2017, 42% of all drunk driving fatalities were caused by drivers between the ages of 16 and 24. Drunk driving can be especially problematic for teenagers, who might feel pressured to drink at parties or other social events. They might also not feel comfortable with calling a trusted adult for a safe ride home.
Distracted driving can be just as dangerous for new drivers, and phones are a big culprit. Young people are more likely than other groups to be enticed by their phones, and glancing down to check a text message or dating app notification can cause a fatal distraction. New drivers are also more likely to engage in other types of distracted behavior. Distracted behavior includes eating, putting on makeup, loud music, or having multiple passengers in their car.
Finally, new drivers might also not be as familiar with proper vehicle maintenance and safety as other age groups. Teens and new drivers might not know how to change a tire, check their oil, or know when to fill up their tank. This can lead to unsafe conditions, and can also lead to the need for expensive repairs.
Thankfully, many of these dangerous behaviors can be avoided through proper education and practice. For example, parents and guardians of young drivers can teach their teens about safe driving behavior. Additionally, they can set an example long before their children are ready to get behind the wheel by avoiding bad behavior.
A new driver might not always master a three-point turn or remember to use their turn signal during their first journey onto the open roads, but education and conversation can help new drivers cut down on risky behavior that puts everyone at risk.
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.