New data indicates that the number of teenage motorists on our roads has been dropping, and there are a number of theories about why this is so. Over the next couple of years, it will also be interesting to see whether these lower numbers of teen motorists continue to contribute to a decline in teen car accident fatalities.
A drop in teen car accident deaths recently has been attributed to a substantial reduction in the number of teenage motorists on our roads. New data only confirms this. According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, the number of teenage American motorists in the 14 to 19 age group has dropped by a significant 12% between 2006 and 2012. This drop in the number of teenage drivers has been recorded constantly since 1996.
Experts speculate that the reason there are fewer teenage motorists driving now, is simply because they cannot afford to do so. There has been an increase in teen unemployment, and with the lack of finances to drive, many teenagers are finding that it is much more cost-effective to use public transportation. Other experts speculate that teenage drivers are now much more interested in texting, using Facebook, tweeting and posting on Instagram than driving. In other words, teenagers now seem to prefer more virtual contact, as opposed to actually driving and having more “real” one-on-one contact with people.
While the spike in teenage unemployment is unfortunate, the silver lining in the cloud is that the number of teenage car accident fatalities is also likely to continue to drop over the next few years.
Doug Horn is a Kansas City Car accident lawyer, dedicated to the representation of victims of car accidents across Missouri. Horn is alos a driving safety advocate. His organization, Drive By Example, is dedicated to advocating driving safety, especially in the area of distracted driving prevention.