The Traffic Injury Research Foundation classifies young drivers in Ontario and other provinces as teenagers between 15 and 19 and also young adults aged 20 through 24. There is no doubt that obtaining a driver’s licence is one of the highlights of any young person’s life.
However, many do not realize that passing a driver’s test and facing emergencies while driving are two things that are oceans apart. Here are some common factors that contribute to accidents among young drivers:
Distractions caused by passengers
Showing off to friends immediately after obtaining a driver’s licence is natural. However, this might not be the best idea because a bunch of friends could cause serious distractions. In some cases, a recently licenced driver might offer to be the designated driver to get friends home safely after a party where alcohol was served.
However, even without participating in alcohol consumption, an inexperienced driver may not be up to the job of a designated driver. The group of drunk friends may get rowdy, talk over each other, sing loud songs and cause other distractions. Even a driver with years of experience would be distracted in such a scenario, and it would likely be their experience that keeps them from getting into an accident.
Reactions to unexpected emergencies
If a car full of unruly teenagers causes the young designated driver to miss a stop sign, all of their lives will be at risk. Blowing through a stop sign could put their car directly into the path of another vehicle entering the intersection, and inexperience would likely leave the young driver unable to react in the safest way. The consequences could be devastating.
The driver’s responsibility
Not only are drivers responsible for the safety of other road users, but also the passengers in their vehicles. If in the above scenario, a car accident caused passengers to suffer injuries, the driver could be held accountable if personal injury claims are filed. Similarly, deaths caused by negligence could see the driver facing wrongful death lawsuits.