Are teen drivers at higher risk of catastrophic accidents?

Written on behalf of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

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While your teenager often chafes at the bit and yearns for the freedom and independence of his or her own car and driver’s license, you likely have a number of fears about the recklessness of teen drivers on California roads. While it is easy, as a parent, to concoct any number of nightmare scenarios, what are the actual statistics for teen drivers versus adult drivers?

The answer can be complicated to determine, when looking at statistics reported by the California Office of Transportation Safety. California averages from 3,000 to 3,100 traffic fatalities per year. of those fatalities, 215 to 220 of those were teens, with up to 90 of those fatalities involving a teen driver and an overwhelming 76.9 percent of those teen driver fatalities being male. While 90 out of over 3,000 driver fatalities may seem like a small number, always keep in mind that it is not only your teen’s behavior on the road that you must worry about.

For instance, while California’s rate of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities may be better than the rest of the nation’s, it is still fairly high, with the number of deaths approaching 900 in a single year. With so may drivers intoxicated on the road, they pose a danger to everyone around them. This includes a danger to teen drivers and passengers, who may be involved in an accident through no fault of their own due to a drunk driver.

This information is provided for educational and reference purposes only, and should not be used as advice admissible in a court of law.

Jeffrey R. Smith

Jeffrey R. Smith

Managing Partner

Robert B. Waldsmith

Robert J. Waldsmith

Partner, 1999

William B. Smith

William B. Smith

Partner, 1978

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