Teenage drivers are often stereotyped as being reckless or negligent. We know they get into more accidents than any other age group. So it would appear that some of this reputation is warranted.
But are they actually reckless? Or are they just younger than the other drivers on the road? And what role could that age have in their abilities as drivers? The answers to these questions are likely twofold: being young may make teenagers more inclined to be reckless.
Brain development and experience
As you age, you gain two important things that can help as you drive. For one thing, you gain a lot of valuable experience. This allows you to react properly to conditions around you on the road. You also learn about dangerous things that you can avoid, like driving too fast for certain weather conditions or accidentally tailgating another car by not leaving a big enough gap.
But the second thing that you gain is just a matter of biology. Brain development doesn’t actually end until a person’s mid-20s. A teenager’s brain simply is not fully developed yet and will not be fully developed for nearly a decade after they get their driver’s license.
How much of the poor driving record ascribed to teens is simply because they are not biologically developed enough to handle the complexity of driving? They may not actually be reckless at all, and they may not be making intentional choices to be dangerous – at least, not in every case. But there are many situations in which they are still going to make errors.
Have you been injured in a crash?
Like it or not, you do have to share the road with inexperienced teen drivers every time you drive to work or the grocery store. If you get injured in an accident caused by a teen driver, then you need to know how to seek financial compensation for your injuries and losses. Please see our Car Accident FAQ to learn more.