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Recent study shows teen drivers are a major risk in Massachusetts

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

There are inherent dangers when taking to the Massachusetts roads. Whether it is the weather, speeding vehicles, drivers behaving recklessly, drunk drivers and distraction, auto accidents can happen without warning. Still, there are certain segments of the population who pose a greater danger in general by behaving in ways that can spark an accident. Specifically, that refers to teen drivers.

Teens who are still learning how to navigate the roads are automatically at risk. Adding in their still-developing judgment and tendency to take risks and it can be problematic for everyone on the road.

This is emphasized by recent statistics from AAA Northeast saying fatal accidents involving teens are at their highest level since 2008. Not only is this worrisome for the teen drivers, but everyone from fellow drivers to passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists should be wary. After an accident, people will be confronted with a litany of concerns they will need to overcome.

Know the common denominators with teen auto crashes

The most recent comprehensive statistics were from 2022. That year, Massachusetts had 49 road fatalities in which a driver between the ages of 16 and 19 was involved. This is the highest total in 14 years when there were 56 such fatalities. Massachusetts had not surpassed 40 road fatalities in four decades. This increase is not limited to Massachusetts as it is happening across the nation.

Overall, there were more than 16,700 accidents involving teen drivers in Massachusetts last year. This means there was one approximately every half-hour. AAA looked at why this was happening and came to several conclusions regarding common denominators in teen accidents.

These include nearly 2,600 being due to driver distraction. Given the number of ways in which driver attention can be diverted from the road whether it is the ever-present cellphone, navigational devices, passengers, changing the radio, eating and more, drivers are not watching the road as they should.

Drivers did not yield in 1,651 of the accidents; 1,457 were due to following too closely; 932 came about because drivers were speeding; and 617 were from not maintaining a lane or going off the road.

Finding the cause of an auto accident

Drivers who are cautious, vigilant and are watching for potential dangers can reduce the chance of a motor vehicle accident. Unfortunately, that does not mean they can prevent all collisions. A teen driver who is just learning how to operate a motor vehicle is prone to making mistakes. This can cause a crash.

Regardless of the circumstances, those who were hurt or lost a loved one in an accident need to know what they will face in the future. That includes medical costs, problems with handling their daily needs, being unable to work and financial challenges.

Evidence as to how and why the accident happened can be crucial to keeping all options open. Those who are simply going to work, running an errand or taking a trip can find their lives are irreversibly changed by a crash. Being prepared for the aftermath is vital and can help with the recovery process.