Are Younger Drivers Safer Than Ever?

It makes intuitive sense that the least experienced drivers are the most prone to mistakes. The more time you spend behind the wheel, the better you are able to handle the responsibility of safe driving.

Recent statistics indicate that younger drivers are still the most accident prone group, but they may be doing better than they did in the past. Improvements in young driver safety could go a long way toward making the roadways safer for everyone.

Young Driver Safety by the Numbers

A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) shows that crash and fatality rates for young drivers are down significantly over the past 20 years. Drivers under the age of 21 have a per-driver fatal crash rate that is 34% lower than it was in 2002. The fatal crash rate for drivers over 21 dropped only 12% in the same time period.

Understanding why safety has improved for the younger cohort could help identify strategies to expand those gains.

The GHSA suggested a number of possible causes for the improved performance of young drivers, including:

  • Graduated Driver License (GDL) programs
  • Expanded access to driver training resources
  • Improved safety technology, particularly driver-assist features
  • More engagement from parents/guardians, particularly in association with graduated driver license requirements
  • Peer-to-peer driver programs for young drivers

Accounting for Fewer Drivers

Normalizing the data into fatal crashes per 10,000 licensed drivers helped account for the fact that young people are driving less than they once did. GDL programs account for some of this difference, as they restrict teen drivers to daytime driving and limit the number of teen passengers allowed in the vehicle.

It’s also the case that a 20-year-old first-time driver may have significant advantages over a 16-year-old first-time driver. The fact that fewer teens are pursuing driving privileges at 16 than they did 20 years ago will also have some effect on driver safety numbers.

While it certainly matters why fewer teens are dying in car accidents, there’s no doubt that it’s cause for celebration. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for people aged 5 to 29, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s a grim reality that if drivers were more attentive and better trained, tens of thousands of lives would be saved every year in the U.S. alone.

Contact Our Experienced Dallas Car Accident Attorneys Today

After a car or truck accident, you need to move quickly to protect your rights. If you’ve been involved in a crash, a skilled personal injury lawyer can help you seek the compensation you deserve. At The Fell Law Firm, we combine small firm values with big firm fight. Call 972-450-1418 or contact us online to discuss your legal needs today.

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