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How dangerous are Tennessee's teen drivers?

Tennessee parents might be concerned when their children become old enough to drive. However, these kids' parents should not be the only ones who are worried. Though people aged 15 to 24 only make up 14 percent of America's population, they account for 30 percent of motor vehicle injury costs amongst men and 28 percent of those injury costs amongst women. Those most at risk of causing a serious accident are teenagers ages 16 to 19, and the risk factors may be stunning.

There are several errant driving techniques that make many teenagers a risk not only to themselves, but to other motorists, too. For example, teens are more likely to exceed the posted speed limit than adult drivers. In fact, 39 percent of fatal crashes involving males 15 to 20 years of age were caused by a young driver's speeding. There are also issues of drunk driving amongst teens. The CDC reports that, in 2010, of drivers 15 to 20-years-old who were involved in a fatal accident, 22 percent had been drinking. It has also been reported that teen drivers are less likely than their adult counterparts to properly asses and recognize dangerous and hazardous scenarios.

One of the best ways to prevent teen accidents is to implement a graduated drivers licensing program, which places certain restrictions on teen drivers. Statistics show that these programs can reduce injurious and fatal teen car wrecks by up to 40 percent. Fortunately, Tennessee already has such a program in place, which may help keep other motorists safe from these inexperienced, sometimes dangerous drivers.

However, despite such a program, teen-caused car accidents still occur, leaving unsuspecting Tennessee motorists seriously injured or dead. In some instances, a victim may only find relief by filing a lawsuit against the individual who caused the accident. If successful on his or her claim, a victim may recover compensation for damages, including lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. In addition, a lawsuit may help raise awareness of some of the dangerous actions taken by teens, which may spur further action to curb negligent driving amongst this young group of motorists.

Source: CDC, "Teen Drivers: Fact Sheet," accessed on Aug. 2, 2014

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