Safe Driving Tips for Young Drivers

Safe Driving Tips for Young Drivers In All Weather Conditions, Including Snow

Safe driving habits don’t develop naturally. They need to be taught, just like anything else. That’s why it’s important for college students and other young drivers to learn safe driving habits as soon as possible. There’s no room for mistakes when it comes to car accidents.

But before teenagers and college students can understand how to drive safer, it’s important to know more about the risks teen drivers face every day on the road, whether they’re driving through a snowstorm in Chicago or heavy traffic in Los Angeles. If you cause an accident, you may face serious legal consequences. On the other side of the coin, if you are injured in an accident, you may need to strong legal guidance. A Chicago car accident attorney may be able to help.

How serious a problem are teen driver accidents?

Don’t think teenagers are involved in a lot of auto accidents? Consider the following statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Young adults 15 to 24 years old represent 14 percent of the population but account for:
    • 30 percent ($19 billion) of total cost of car accidents among males
    • 28 percent ($7 billion) of total cost of car accidents among females
  • 7 teenagers 16 to 19 years old died every day in car accidents in 2010
  • Drivers 16 to 19 years old are three times more likely to be in fatal crash than drivers over 20 years old

Why are teenager drivers more likely to be involved in car accidents?

More than anything, teenager drivers “underestimate dangerous situations” and are “not able to recognize hazardous situations,” according to the CDC. That’s because teenagers’ brains are literally different than the brains of adults.

Scientists in recent years have found that the frontal lobes in teenagers’ brains are not fully connected, according to research done by Harvard University neurologist Francis Jensen. That’s the part of the brain, Jensen explained in an interview with NPR, “that says, ‘Is this a good idea? What are the consequences of this action?’”

Teenagers’ frontal lobes don’t completely connect until their mid-20s, Jensen explained. That’s probably why so many teenagers make decisions that seem to make absolutely no sense to their parents and other adults.

What types of risky behavior do teenage drivers engage in on the road?

Many teen drivers, especially young male drivers, do things that raise the risk of them being involved in a car accident. These dangerous driving habits include:

  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Texting while driving
  • Drinking and driving
  • Not wearing seatbelts
  • Tired driving

In addition, if other male teenagers are in the vehicle at the same time, the likelihood of teen drivers engaging in such dangerous driving behavior increases even more, suggesting that teenage drivers are susceptible to peer pressure.

What types of car accidents occur involving teenage drivers?

Teenage drivers are often involved in many different types of car accidents, as any auto accident attorney in Chicago or elsewhere in the United States will tell you. Some of the most common kinds of car accidents teen drivers often cause include:

  • Rear-end car accidents (due to tailgating, texting while driving)
  • Head-on collisions (due to texting while driving)
  • Drunk driving car accidents
  • Rollover car accidents (due to speeding)
  • High-speed car accidents
  • Asleep at the wheel car accidents (due to lack of sleep)

Does weather play a factor in many teenage auto accidents?

In many cases, adverse weather plays a factor many car accidents involving teenage drivers. That’s because many high school aged drivers and college students simply don’t have enough experience driving in bad weather, including:

  • Snowstorms
  • Ice storms
  • Heavy rain
  • Fog
  • Sleet
  • Hail
  • Black ice

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Information for Students and Parents about Accidents