Are teen drivers actually more dangerous?

For most Americans learning to drive is an inevitability. Like many states, relying on public transportation is often not practical, especially in towns like Rochester.

While driving skills come with practice, there is only so much practice a teenager can get before heading out on the open road. In addition to challenges with unfamiliar situations on the street, teens often are learning how to manage several tasks while driving.

Here’s what you should know about how safe teens are behind the wheel.

Their distractions are not what you think

Often, teens are pegged as more likely to text and drive, causing many of their accidents. However, this is not the case. The prevalence of texting and driving tends to increase with age, with most texters being over 18.

Instead of their phones, teens are learning how to pay attention to the road ahead, the instruments in their car and the passengers in their vehicle. As they learn this skill, teenagers tend to focus on one or two tasks and neglect another.

Odds not in their favor

Among the most dangerous drivers are teenagers and people over 80 years old. As drivers approach 30, their chances of being in an accident, fatal or otherwise, drop significantly.

Additionally, teenage passengers are more likely to be involved in a crash when another teenager is driving. Often, the distraction of having friends in the car plays a significant role in a teen’s ability to focus on the road ahead.

Helping teenagers get the practice they need behind the wheel is essential to helping them become safer drivers. In addition to classroom-style practice, they also need mock distractions to help them learn to drive safely in all scenarios.