Teenagers often feel incredibly excited when they finally get a license and they can drive. Parents, on the other hand, feel nervous. They know that inexperienced teen drivers face extra risks on the roads. They know how dangerous it is to get behind the wheel. That doesn't mean they don't want the teens to drive -- they know how helpful and necessary it is -- but they do worry that the kids will not be safe.
It's a legitimate concern. To show how dangerous things can get out there, here are six key facts about deadly accidents involving teenage drivers:
- The number of teen accidents resulting in death jumps by about 15% in October, making it the most dangerous month.
- Experts note that the increase stated above corresponds with the time of year that teens go back to school or college. They also may attend school-related events like dances or football games.
- For drivers who are 16 years old and in their first year of driving, the odds of getting into a fatal accident double after dark.
- The majority of nighttime accidents involving teens -- deadly or otherwise -- happen from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m.
- Fatal wrecks occur often from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., making up about 32% of the total, or roughly a third of all deadly teen accidents. This number is far higher than it should be since teens only drive about 14% of their total miles during this same time. That shows that the risks are vastly higher at night.
- Reasons for accidents involve everything from driving too fast for conditions to running off of the road to driving under the influence.
Understanding the reasons that accidents happen may help parents work to protect their children. Parents may consider not letting the child borrow the car after dark, for instance, or they could have strict rules about drug and alcohol use. These types of things can reduce the risk by focusing on major accident causes and trends.
That doesn't mean that teens will not get involved in accidents, of course. Thousands of crashes happen every year, and many of them don't involve these risk factors. Teens crash during the day, when they're driving the speed limit, and when they have never used drugs or alcohol. Inexperience plays a role at all hours of the day, and all it takes is one small mistake -- looking down at the phone, for instance -- to cause a serious wreck.
Those who get hit by teen drivers may find themselves facing high medical bills and many other costs. They need to know all of their legal rights in Texas for moving forward after the crash.