Car accidents can happen to anybody at any time. However, it is more likely that you will have an accident if you are a younger driver. No matter what age group you fall into, a car accident can be a terrifying situation. The lawyers at HawkLaw, P.A. are here to fight for fair compensation and hold those who caused the accident accountable. To request a free consultation*, call 888-HAWKLAW to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer.
What Age Group Is Involved in the Most Fatal Car Accidents?
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death in the United States. No matter your age, you can have a car accident and need the services of a South Carolina car accident lawyer. Yet many people ask, “What age causes the most car accidents?” Statistics show that people ages 25 to 35 are at higher risk for an accident with fatal injuries, according to data from the National Safety Council. If you are in this demographic, you may pay higher insurance premiums, and you need to be more aware of the impact of driver age on your safety.
Thankfully, anyone can learn to drive safely. With the right education and protection, even those at the highest risk can drive without incident. However, insurance companies will increase premiums for drivers in certain categories, so you need to know what the statistics say.
Which Group of Drivers Are Involved in the Most Accidents?
While young adults are at the highest risk for fatal crashes, young drivers under the age of 25 are at the highest risk for motor vehicle crashes in general. Teen drivers have the least experience behind the wheel, and this makes them more vulnerable to suffering in an accident. This inexperience is why teenage drivers have the highest insurance premiums.
Which Teenagers Are Most Likely at Risk of a Car Accident?
While all teenage drivers are at higher risk for car accidents than older drivers, the CDC lists certain demographics of teenagers that are at even higher risk than other teens. These include:
- Males: Based on 2019 data, male drivers ages 16 to 19 had twice as high of a risk of fatalities in car crashes than females who were in this age group.
- Teens with young passengers: Having another teenager or young adult in the car increases the risk of a teen having a crash. The crash rate increases with each teen or young adult added.
- New driver’s license: The risk of a crash is the highest during the first few months of having a license. For instance, the National Household Travel Survey found that 16-year-olds had a 1.5 times higher rate of crashes per mile driven than 18 and 19-year-olds.
What Are Some Reasons Teenagers Cause Car Accidents?
There are several reasons that teen drivers are at higher risk for crashes. Some of these include:
Young drivers are more likely to participate in dangerous behaviors like speeding, swerving in and out of traffic, tailgating, and racing each other. This type of reckless driving behavior makes it impossible to watch for hazards on the road, which, in turn, increases the risk of a crash.
Lack of Experience
Driving takes time to master. Even though today’s teenagers take driver’s education, it takes years to gain the experience necessary to reduce the risk of a crash. Parents can help by providing proper guidance in the early years of driving.
Under the Influence
Teenagers are often guilty of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Many are just unaware of the severe risk this causes or how these substances impact their senses and reduce their reaction time while driving. They often report willingness to get in the car with a teen who has been drinking.
Not wearing a seatbelt does not change crash risk, but it does impact the risk of fatalities. Teenagers are more likely to skip seatbelt use than adult drivers are. Thankfully, modern vehicles have alarms that help reduce this risk, but teens with older vehicles may skip the seatbelt and increase their risk of serious injury.
Other Young Passengers
Teenagers and children are distracting. Most parents already know this, yet they do not consider the risk when sending their teen off on a drive with friends. Driving with another teenage passenger will increase the risk of unsafe driving practices and reckless behavior behind the wheel because the driver may want to show off to their friends.
Distracted driving is a growing problem as cars become increasingly technologically advanced, and most people have a smartphone in their hands at all times. Teens are often guilty of overestimating their ability to drive while doing other things. Some distractions that can occur include:
- Texting or talking on the phone
- Talking to passengers
- Eating or drinking
- Messing with the media
- Personal grooming or makeup application
The reason teens are more at risk in this area is because they do not fully understand the risk.
What Two Factors Do Car Insurance Companies Take into Account?
When choosing rates for car insurance, companies will take into account two factors. First, they consider age. Younger drivers have higher rates. Second, they consider gender. Because male drivers have around double the rate of fatal car accidents than female drivers, they have higher insurance rates.
What Are Ways to Prevent Teenage Car Accidents?
One way to help teenagers stay safer on the road is with the graduated driver licensing system. Each state has adopted some form of this program, but the specific regulations do vary from state to state.
GDL programs allow teenagers access to driving with increased permissions. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation show that they do reduce fatal teen crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these programs reduce the risk by as much as 50%. The Insurance Information Institute indicates three basic stages of most GDL programs, which are:
- A learner’s permit, which requires driving practice with an experienced driver.
- An intermediate license with restricted nighttime driving or passenger restrictions.
- A full license, usually by age 18
While many states have variations of this program, these are the recommended rules. Here is a closer look at the regulations.
Night Driving Restrictions
Nighttime driving is more dangerous than daytime driving due to limited visibility and increased tiredness. Thus, the GDL program will put on a curfew on newly licensed drivers. The recommended restriction period is from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
Passengers, especially child or teen passengers, are a distraction to a new driver. The GDL program will limit the number of young passengers an under-18 driver can have in the car to none or one. Some states have exceptions for siblings of the driver.
No Cellphone Use Before Driver’s License
While many states already have laws in place restricting handheld phone use, the regulations for young drivers under the GDL program go further. They limit all cellphone use, even over Bluetooth or other hands-free systems, for drivers with a learning permit.
Holding Learner’s Permit for a Certain Period
Having a learner’s permit for a set period of time, such as nine months to one year, provides enough time to get driver’s education and supervised driving practice in place. Statistics indicate that sufficient driving practice helps reduce the risk of a crash for a young driver. This protection can help reduce the risk of teen driving problems due to inexperience and lack of knowledge.
Which Age Group Has the Lowest Car Accident Rate?
While much focus is on the age group with the highest crash risk, one age group has the lowest death rates and crash rates among drivers. Drivers between the ages of 40 and 50 are statistically the safest on the road.
These drivers have more experience than younger age demographics. However, they are also at an age that does not experience much mental or physical deterioration that often comes with old drivers. Thus, adults in this age bracket tend to have the lowest insurance premiums as well. As adults age, their driving record becomes a consideration as well, so being in this age group and having a clean driving record usually means excellent insurance rates.
How Can the Attorneys at HawkLaw Help You?
Anyone can have a car crash, and if you have one, the aftermath is very overwhelming. Hiring an experienced South Carolina accident lawyer is important. No matter your age, having an attorney on your side will help in a number of ways. When you partner with HawkLaw, you benefit from having a skilled professional who will:
Talk to Insurance
You probably think that your insurance company has your back, but this is not true. Truthfully, insurance companies are quite skilled at getting out of paying what they should. Their goal is to make money, not give it away. If you report your accident improperly, you could lose potential compensation. If you accept the settlement they give you, without talking to an attorney, you may be taking too little.
In most car accidents, the settlement offered to a South Carolina injury victim is worth less than the victim deserves. Specifically, they often overlook noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering, which really add to the value of your case.
Sometimes, settlements are lower because the accident report does not clearly outline the various problems and the full extent of the injuries or property damage. When you partner with a skilled attorney, you can be confident that the information given to your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance provider is accurate and protects your interests.
Handle Court Proceedings
If your case ends up in court, you may feel overwhelmed by the process ahead. The process is daunting, especially if you have never been in court before. Small mistakes can lead to big losses in your overall results, and that is a risk you take when you enter the courtroom without proper representation.
HawkLaw’s attorneys will be with you every step of the way. You will have confidence that the court proceedings are being handled properly, and you will feel less intimidated when you step foot in the courtroom. The calming presence of an attorney can help reduce your anxiety, ensuring you represent yourself well.
The aftermath of a car crash involves much negotiation. You may need to negotiate with insurance companies, and you may need to negotiate with the other driver’s attorney. Our law firm’s legal team includes skilled negotiators who know how to protect your best interests throughout this process.
Evidence is critical in accident cases. Our team will help you collect evidence and present it to the necessary parties in a skilled manner. Because evidence can get lost quickly, we recommend reaching out for a free case evaluation* as soon as possible after a crash. This will give our legal team enough time to start gathering information so we can present it in a way that protects your rights and interests.
HawkLaw is always here to help you after a car accident. You can initiate your case at any hour of the day, and we are ready to ensure you get the evidence collected and start negotiations on the right foot. We serve all of South Carolina and have a reputation for fighting tenaciously for our clients. Do not put your future financial safety at risk after a crash by settling for the insurance company’s offer. Talk to our team first and ensure you do all you can to protect your rights.
No Matter Your Age, Call Us if You Are in a Car Accident
You have more rights than you might think after a car accident. Sadly, insurance companies often offer big settlement amounts in an attempt to get out of paying what they really should for a crash. Do not find yourself swept up by a large potential settlement. If you are in a car accident, schedule a free consultation* with HawkLaw. We can help you do what is necessary to protect your rights and work to get you fair and adequate compensation for all of your injuries. If you need the services of a South Carolina car accident attorney, you want HawkLaw.
Disclaimer: This information is solely for informational purposes. It does not represent legal advice and should not take the place of hiring an attorney for your car crash case. For legal advice, always talk to a skilled attorney.