Teen Drivers Are More Likely to Be in an Accident: Why?

Anyone can get into a car accident, but stats make it clear that teen drivers are the most likely of all demographics. Does this mean that teens should not be allowed to drive? Why are they so likely to be in a car accident? Keep reading to get answers to these and other questions, then contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.

You may be surprised that your guess is wrong

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, teens are indeed the most likely to be involved in a car accident and the most likely to commit traffic violations. Some people assume that this is due to their inexperience and the fact that they may be emotional immature. The truth is that study after study has shown that it may actually be due to neurobiological reasons. Though it is common to blame their hormones when thinking of why teens act irrationally, could it actually be more closely related to how they are wired.

The biggest risk factors for teen drivers

The DMV has identified the biggest risk factors for teen drivers. They include the fact that they are not good at detecting hazards, their perception of risk is low, they are more likely to take risks, they are less likely to wear seatbelts (which may not increase their chances of being in a car accident but can lead to much more serious injures), they are more likely to drive after using drugs or alcohol, they are more likely to drive at night, and they are more likely to be distracted by their passengers.

It may seem like a these are all issues that practice and discipline can solve, but in reality this is not the case. In fact, one study that covered decades of research using MRI study of the brain has now offered an explanation for what is really going on.

The study was done by the National Institute for Mental Health

With the help of the NIMH, the University of California at Los Angeles studied higher-order brain centers. They found that the moderate risk-taking and regulate decision-making parts of the brain that were under stress did not develop fully until a person was in their early 20s. For kids who are between 16 and 19, the prefrontal cortex, which regulates risk-taking, is still growing.

With this information, what are parents to do? Those in charge suggest that they limit their children’s access to the most dangerous of driving activities. For example, restrict their night driving, do not allow them to drive with numerous passengers, and ensure that their routes are short. There are also apps that can be downloaded to a teen’s phone that lets their parent know if the teen has been speeding, making hard stops, etc.

If you have been injured in an accident in which a teenager was driving then you may need the assistance of a personal injury attorney. You can get a free legal consultation just by calling The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 right now.

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