The Danger of Teenage Drivers

An experienced personal injury and wrongful death lawyer will frequently encounter traffic fatalities and severe personal injuries, like traumatic brain injury, resulting from a car crash caused by an inexperienced driver. A recent article in the New York Times, called “Teenage Drivers? Be Very Afraid,” discusses the hazards associated with inexperienced drivers.

Why Risk Is Increased

The Times article contains the following eye-opening quote: “If you’re going to have an early, untimely death, the most dangerous two years of your life are between 16 and 17, and the reason for that is driving.” The risk of serious personal injury and wrongful death due to a car crash involving a teenage driver has increased for three reasons. First, more teenage drivers are often distracted drivers. Texting and driving is dangerous and can lead to a deadly traffic accident. Likewise, driving with friends is a proven distraction that increases the risk of a deadly collision. In addition, speed limits in many states have been increased. As we all know, speed kills.  Speeding cuts down on reaction time and leads to more significant car crashes with greater damage. Finally, there is simply more traffic today. Think about it — distracted drivers are going faster and there are more of them. It’s a recipe for catastrophic injuries. 

Leading Cause of Death in Teens

Among new drivers ages 16 and 17, wrongful death in a motor vehicle accident is a leading cause of death outstripping suicide, cancer, and other types of accidents. In a study of one recent year, nearly one million teenagers were involved in traffic crashes, resulting in 373,645 injuries and almost 3,000 deaths. That’s about 6 teenage traffic fatalities a day as a result of a car crash in the United States.


Statistics show that inattentive and inexperienced teens are not only distracted by the usual culprits like texting, eating, and adjusting the radio, but having other teenagers in the car poses a major distraction. Adding one friend as a passenger increases the rate of crashes by almost 50%. The risk of an automobile accident increases as additional friends are taken on as passengers. For instance, the risk doubles by adding a second passenger and quadruples with three or more passengers.  

Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help

An experienced personal injury and wrongful death lawyer will tell you that when a teenager causes a car crash resulting in serious personal injury or wrongful death, the fact that the driver was young does not mean they were negligent. However, youth and inexperience are common causes for many traffic violations, often with serious consequences. If you or someone you love was involved in a motor vehicle accident that resulted in death, contact a wrongful death lawyer, like a wrongful death lawyer in Cleveland, OH, today. 

Thanks to Mishkind Kulwicki Law for their insight into