Analyzing Reasons Behind High Number of Teen Vehicle Crashes
UNITED STATES – October 11, 2018 (sciencenewsforstudents.org) An article online at sciencenewsforstudents.org looks at the high numbers of teen vehicle accidents in the United States and the reasons behind these accidents.
The first 18 months after a teenager starts driving are the most dangerous. During this time, teens are four times more likely to be involved in a car crash than adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. In 2015, a total of 2,333 teens between the ages of 16 and 19 were killed in vehicle crashes in the United States. This equates to six teen deaths every day due to motor vehicle injuries. More than 235,000 teenagers of the same age were treated in emergency departments in 2016 for injuries sustained in motor vehicle crashes.
In 2013, teens ages 15 to 19 represented only 7 percent of the entire population in the United States but accounted for more than 11 percent of the total national costs associated with motor vehicle injuries. The teenage share of these costs in 2013 was $10 billion.
Text messaging, phone calls, and use of social media while driving are huge risk factors for teens behind the wheel. The average text message takes 32 seconds to write. If a teen is composing the text while driving, about 20 seconds will be focused on the phone instead of the road. The teen will cover about five football fields in this time if driving about 60 mph.
According to the CDC, teen drivers are more likely to underestimate dangerous situations and less likely to recognize hazardous situations. They are also more likely than older drivers to make decision errors that lead to vehicle accidents. Teens are statistically more likely to speed and follow other cars too closely. In addition, alcohol and drugs are greater factors in teen crashes than crashes for other age groups.
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