Car Accidents and the Role of Driver Inexperience

Car Accidents and the Role of Driver Inexperience

Have you ever heard someone say that young drivers are too dangerous to be on the road? Maybe they were advocating raising the legal driving age from 16. Maybe they were just lamenting the fact that teen drivers seem to get in so many accidents.

Either way, while they do have a point, they’re not going far enough if they are just blaming teens as an age group. What the statistics really show is that inexperience leads to car accidents. Most inexperienced drivers are teens, so there is a lot of overlap there, but it is the lack of experience that is most detrimental.

This is often most clear when a teen faces a challenging driving situation that they have not found themselves in before. For instance, a teen who grew up in a small town and then has to drive into a nearby city may find the high traffic volumes intimidating. They may never have used roundabouts and traffic circles. They may struggle to know how to merge on multi-lane streets or which way to turn on one-way streets.

Meanwhile, a teen from the city who has to drive in the country may think that the high speeds on the interstate are intimidating. Technically, the driving is much simpler, but there’s a vast difference between city speeds (25-45MPH) and interstate speeds.

In both areas, teens can get to be better, safer drivers with time. They get more exposure to these conditions and learn how to drive in them. In the meantime, though, they may cause accidents because of their inexperience, and those who get injured need to know what legal options they have.