When Young Drivers Take Too Many Risks

by ShelbyW on January 14, 2013

One can simply turn on the news and realize that the world isn’t always safe for teenagers. Unfortunately, besides these dangers, teens often experience peer pressure, bullying and many other stressful issues that we were all excessively excited to leave behind in high school. Regrettably, teens frequently put themselves at risk further by engaging in dangerous driving habits. It is important for every teen and parent to understand the consequences of risky driving behaviors; it could very well save a life.

Drinking and Driving

Drinking and driving is a huge issue when it comes to unsafe teen driving behaviors. Teenagers are at a huge risk for car accidents, and recent studies have shown that nearly forty percent of teen traffic fatalities are alcohol related. Another scary statistic is the fact that the average BAC for underage drunk drivers involved in car accidents is .40 percent.

It’s also important that teens understand the legal consequences that they could face; even if they don’t injure themselves or anyone else when doing so. The legal BAC for underage drivers in many states is much lower than .08 percent, and this makes it much easier for underage drivers to get a DUI charge. Whether you are in San Diego or in Orlando DUI charges are serious. A teen can face fines exceeding $2,500, suspension of their license for three years, probation up to five years and even up to one year in jail. These penalties can put a serious dent in a person’s young life.

Texting and Driving

Texting and driving has become a rather large issue in the United States over the past few years. Many states have outlawed the practice altogether, and even more states have gone so far as to not allow underage drivers the use of their cell phones at all, while driving. This isn’t a terrible idea once one considers the statistics related to this distracting behavior.

Research has recently shown the detrimental effects that texting can have on teen drivers. One study showed that teens who are texting while driving spend about ten percent of their entire driving time outside of the bounds of the lane that they’re supposed to be in. This can obviously result in disastrous outcomes.

A large amount of all car accidents each year are caused by ‘distracted driving’.  Eighteen percent of fatal crashes that resulted from distracted driving were attributed to cell phone use, and a large amount of these crashes were caused by young drivers. The main point here is that texting while driving is dangerous for anyone, but it is often deadly when combined with a teen’s driving inexperience.

Fatigued Driving

Driving fatigued is another dangerous driving habit that many people engage in.  Once again, however, it is more pronounced in underage drivers. About one out of every five car accidents in America is caused by fatigued driving. Of these accidents, more than half are caused by teenagers who were tired behind the wheel. This statistic should rattle a parent’s nerves once they find out that the fatal vehicular crash rate for teenagers between the ages of sixteen and nineteen is four times higher than that of older individuals.

Recent studies have shown that being deprived of sleep for twenty-four hours is roughly equivalent to having the blood alcohol content (BAC) of .10.  Knowing this, parents should take care that their teens aren’t driving while fatigued. This should include restricting driving if a teenager was up late studying or doing anything else. Parents should be able to provide their teen a ride to school or other important obligations if they didn’t get enough sleep.

When we were teens, we all faced many different events in our young lives. The one thing that remained the same is that, it was a time when we all likely made relatively risky decisions. Teenagers don’t always have the most sound judgment when it comes to anything; driving included. This makes it absolutely essential that they understand what can happen when they take unnecessary risks while driving.

Paralegal Kelly Kovacic recognizes that teens may not always understand the consequences of their actions, and so she contributes articles to bring awareness to these topics. If you were in Florida and received an Orlando DUI charge the attorneys at Katz & Phillips, P.A. will make sure you get the best results possible. The attorneys at this firm know what charges to challenge to preserve a young teen’s future from years of harsh consequences.


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