Nothing may be more heartbreaking than the fatality of a young New Yorker, barely touching on adulthood. As reported by the New York Post, a recent deadly car accident on the Cross Bronx Expressway illustrates just how dangerous a combination youthfulness and operating a motor vehicle can be.
In this tragic instance, a three-car collision took the young life of one of the drivers, leaving the two older drivers unhurt. A 17-year-old passenger in the 18-year-old driver’s vehicle reportedly suffered very serious injury. The accident occurred at 4:20 a.m. The teen’s vehicle failed to stop before colliding into the rear of a tractor-trailer. It then bounced into a guardrail and hit the second car.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car crashes are the number one cause of teen death in the United States. In fact, for teens over 15 but under 20 years of age, six of them lose their lives every day due to motor vehicle accidents. For this same age group, these teen drivers have almost a tripled risk of being in a fatal crash than drivers that are at least 20 years old.
Teen risk factors
However, such tragedies are largely preventable. The CDC advises that informing teens of what puts them at greater risk of death by auto is a good start to helping them prevent this fate. The risk factors for teens include the following:
- Nighttime driving
- Engaging in reckless or impaired driving
- Driving while drowsy or distracted
- Failing to use seat belts
- Driving with other teen passengers
- Operating the vehicle without significant driving experience
The issue of driver inexperience
While many of these factors seem obvious, the lack-of-driving-experience factor deserves attention. When compared to more seasoned drivers, teenagers are more inclined to underestimate precarious situations or not recognize that a situation is dangerous at all. They also tend to be less able to make critical driving decisions that then cause serious crashes.
A teen-caused accident is not always a result of purposefully reckless driving, such as dangerous drag racing. Pure inexperience is very impactful. A teen cannot avoid driving with limited experience, at least for a time, but with extra parental attention, it may be a risk factor that parents can help reduce for their children.