After driving for years, a lot of Texas adults — perhaps you included — forget how it felt when they first began driving. Now, they take their experience for granted and may not even have to think before reacting on the roadway since it tends to become second nature.
Teenagers don’t have that experience or second nature to work from when they start driving. They need to think constantly about what they are doing. They may attempt to react to the same situations an experienced driver does, but they lose critical seconds due to a lack of experience. As anyone who has ever been in even a minor accident knows, seconds could mean the difference between a close call and a serious or deadly accident.
The real risk teenage drivers pose
As a parent, you want to believe your child will return home safely, and he or she may. However, that may be due more to luck than actual skill. Until any driver, including your teenager, has enough experience, he or she poses a real risk to themselves, their passengers and others. Three-quarters of crashes involving teenagers result from one of the following crucial errors:
- Becoming distracted by something outside or inside the vehicle
- Driving above the posted speed limit or too fast for the road conditions
- Failing to adequately scan for hazards and properly respond to them
Distracted driving affects everyone, not just teenagers, and many people drive too fast. Even so, with adequate experience, a driver may still avoid an accident while your teenager may not fare as well. In fact, that after driving at least 1,000 miles, the risk of crashing drops by approximately two-thirds.
Other factors such as drowsy driving, drunk driving and distracted driving increase the risk of an accident dramatically, especially when coupled with a lack of experience. Being overtired and fatigued is particularly troublesome since most of these crashes involve a driver under the age of 25, which includes teenagers who also do not have enough driving experience.
The aftermath of a crash involving an inexperienced teen
You probably didn’t know, at least at first, that the driver next to you was a teenager with little behind the wheel experience. If you end up suffering injuries or losing a loved one in an accident caused by an inexperienced teenage driver, you may be able to pursue compensation for your financial losses through the filing of a personal injury or wrongful death claim in a Texas civil court.