What Age Group Causes the Most Car Accidents?February 7, 2023
According to the United States Census Bureau, teenage drivers between the ages of 16- and 19-years old account for 12 percent of all car accidents in the country, while those over the age of 65 cause about 7.5 percent. According to the IIHS, teenage drivers are three times more likely to crash a car than drivers over 20 years old.
Why Are Teenagers More Prone to Car Accidents?
From their reckless and immature behavior or their inexperience behind the wheel, here are the major roles that cause accidents for teens:
- Recklessness: Teenagers are known to be reckless and experiment with riskier behaviors, particularly when driving. While they may not exhibit road rage like their older counterparts, teen drivers do drive aggressively. Actions such as speeding, tailgating, driving on the shoulder or racing other drivers are just some of the dangerous behaviors in young drivers.
- Inexperience: Driving is a skill that takes time to get good at. In fact, statistics show that older drivers who have been driving for a long time are safer than other age groups. Even though teenagers and newer drivers are able to take driver’s education classes, nothing can replace the experience of actually being on the road.
- Under the influence: Teenagers are more likely to drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol than other age groups. Perhaps because of that adolescent feeling of ‘invincibility,’ teenagers are generally unaware of how dangerous drinking and driving is and how these substances adversely affects their ability to drive.
- No seatbelt: Teenagers are more likely to not wear their seatbelt than older drivers. Fortunately, newer cars have alarms that will not turn off unless you put your seat belt on, but teenagers are still apt to not wearing it.
- Distractions: Distractions often include texting or talking on the phone, talking to passengers, or eating and drinking, all things teens do because they overestimate their abilities and think they can multitask.
How to Prevent Accidents with Teenage Drivers
Many modern vehicles are equipped with technologies that help drivers, such as lane-change assistance or blind spot warning systems. There are some cars that even alert you when it senses your eyes off the road for too long.
Some states also have graduated driver licensing (GDL) systems that allow teenagers access to driving with increased permissions. According to the NHTSA, programs like GDL reduce the risk of a fatal crash for teenagers by 50 percent. Here are some of the GDL recommended regulations:
- Nighttime driving restrictions: Nighttime driving is more dangerous than daytime driving. The GDL program puts a curfew for teenagers and newer drivers.
- Passenger restrictions: Passengers are a distraction to teen drivers, especially if their passengers are their peers. The GDL program recommends limiting passengers for teen drivers to none or one, with exceptions to a sibling.
- No cellphone: GDL programs restrict all phone usage for anyone with a learning permit, including using Bluetooth or a hands-free system.
- Learner’s permit: GDL programs have a guideline where a younger driver must hold their learner’s permit for at least nine months to a year, which will give them time to learn more and practice driving. This will increase driving knowledge and give a young driver more experience behind the wheel.
Maryland Car Accident Laws
Whether you are a teenage driver or an elderly driver, getting into a car accident can be an overwhelming experience. It is important to have a good understand of your state’s car accident laws beforehand, so that you are more prepared on what to do:
- At-fault state: Maryland is an “at-fault” insurance state, which means that the insurance policy of whoever caused the accident would be responsible for covering the damages.
- Statute of limitations: The statute of limitations is a state’s time limit to file a legal claim for compensation. Maryland’s statute of limitations is three years from the date of the accident to file a claim against an at-fault party.
- Negligence laws: Maryland has a contributory negligence law, where if you are found to be even one percent responsible for the accident that injured you, then you will not get compensation. Because this law is so restrictive, you should have an experienced and knowledgeable car accident lawyer working your case, one that could protect your rights and develop a strong claim against the at-fault party.
- Police report: Getting a police report is not required in Maryland. If the accident involved property damage, then the requirements of the drivers are to exchange information and move their vehicles out of the roadway. However, if a person is injured or killed, if an unattended vehicle or property is involved in the accident and the owner is not found, if it was a hit-and-run accident, or the accident involves a drunk driver, then the accident must be reported to the police.
- Compensation: To pursue compensation should you ever get injured in an accident, you can either file claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company, file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver, or file an uninsured motorist claim with your own policy if that at-fault driver does not have insurance.
Because of Maryland’s restrictive negligence law, it is highly recommended that you hire a car accident lawyer to handle your claim, even if the law does not require you to. Only through a lawyer would you be able to get maximum compensation for your damages, and you will also have someone who can protect your rights and advocate for you against the insurance companies and the at-fault party.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Help Those Injured in Car Accidents
Whether you are an experienced and older driver or a young teenager, getting into a car accident can upend your life. Consult with the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton today. Call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or fill out our online form for a free consultation. We have offices in Baltimore, Glen Burnie, and Prince George’s County, allowing us to represent clients in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.