Teenage drivers are involved in more accidents than any other age group. Young males especially so. Yet recent reports suggest this might become less of an issue.
Getting a driving license was once an essential rite of passenger for most teens. Yet nowadays, many kids could not care less. In 1983, 46% of U.S. teens held a license. By 2014 that had dropped to 25%. It has probably dropped further since.
Why are kids less keen to drive?
There are several reasons for the decline:
- Increased costs: Cars and gas are not nearly as cheap as they once were, putting driving out of reach of many youngsters.
- The difficulty of repair: Once you could mend most things on a car yourself. Aside from saving money over a mechanic, it also built a car culture where people, usually male, would spend their weekends tinkering with their prized possessions together. There is little camaraderie to be had connecting your engine to a computerized fault reader.
- Stricter laws: Take a look at the range of tickets, fines and sentences you can get for driving-related offenses. Many kids decide they can live without that hassle.
- Less freedom: Graduated driving licenses limit young drivers, so a car does not bring the same liberty as before.
- Environmental awareness: Kids know all about air pollution and the problems with fossil fuels. Many decide driving is incompatible with their values.
Does that mean the roads will be safer?
The danger of teenage drivers comes from two things: A lack of maturity and a lack of experience. While someone who only gets their license in their 30s should be more sensible, they will still need to build experience. Until they get that, any new driver is more likely to cause a crash regardless of age.
Considering a driver’s age and experience may help when looking for the cause of a car crash you need to claim compensation for.