Archive for the 'Teenage Driving' Category

Key Risks of Teenage Driving, by Peter Wallin

Key risks of teenage driving
by Peter Wallin,  Elmira NY Insurance Agency

According to California DMV Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers across the United States. For both men and women, drivers aged 16 to 19 years of age have the highest average annual crash and traffic violation rates of any other age group

Teenage Driver Crash Risk Factors
The traffic accident rates for 16- to 19-year old drivers are higher than those for any other age group. What causes teenage drivers to be such risky drivers? The following is a list of their primary risk factors.

Poor hazard detection
The ability to detect hazards in the driving environment depends upon perceptual and information-gathering skills and involves properly identifying stimuli as potential threats. It takes time for young novice drivers to acquire this ability.

Low risk perception
Risk perception involves subjectively assessing the degree of threat posed by a hazard and one’s ability to deal with the threat. Young novice drivers tend to underestimate the crash risk in hazardous situations and overestimate their ability to avoid the threats they identify.

Risk Taking
Teenagers tend to take more risks while driving partly due to their overconfidence in their driving abilities. Young novice drivers are more likely to engage in risky behaviors like speeding, tailgating, running red lights, violating traffic signs and signals, making illegal turns, passing dangerously, and failure to yield to pedestrians.

Not wearing seat belts
Teenagers tend to wear safety belts less often than older drivers. Why?

Lack of skill
Novice teenage drivers have not yet completely mastered basic vehicle handling skills and safe-driving knowledge they need to drive safely.

Alcohol and drugs
Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is a common cause of serious crashes, especially fatal ones, involving teenage drivers. Teenagers who drink and drive are at much greater risk of serious crashes than are older drivers with equal concentrations of alcohol in their blood.

Carrying passengers
For teenagers, the risk of being in a crash increases when they transport passengers-the fatality risk of drivers aged 16-17 years is 3.6 times higher when they are driving with passengers than when they are driving alone, and the relative risk of a fatal crash increases as the number of passengers increases. Passengers who are age peers may distract the teen drivers and encourage them to take more risks, especially for young males riding with young male drivers.

Night driving
The per mile crash rate for teenaged drivers is 3 times higher after 9:00 pm during the day. This is because the task of driving at night is more difficult; they have less experience driving at night than during the day; they are more sleep deprived, and/or because teenage recreational driving, which often involves alcohol, is more likely to occur at night.

Peter Wallin
Elmira NY Insurance Agent
1364 College Ave
Elmira, NY 14901


Car accidents are the leading cause of death of people 16-20 year olds.

By Peter Wallin
Elmira NY Insurance Agents and Father of 3 young drivers

Teen’s driving tied to folks– Strict rules from parents lead to safer kids and fewer accidents. 
According to a USA Today article, parents who are actively involved in setting rules and
boundaries lead to safer teen drivers.  “The real message is that parents matter,” experts say. 

“If you take this seriously and you are an active parent in knowing where your children are
going and setting appropriate rules combined with warmth and support, you can actually make a tremendous difference.”  

As a father of 3 young drivers  (ages 18,19,21)  I worry every time they get behind the wheel.  I know I have no control over them once they leave my driveway, but I am hoping they have learned enough from my wife and me through the years.  They have watched us drive and we have been their role models.  Now, we ask that they text us a quick message when they reach their destination (not while they are driving!).  We just want them to be safe. 

 Car accidents are the leading cause of death of people 16-20 year olds.

For more information and articles on Youthful Drivers visit

February 2019
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