February 28, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/
-- For many teenagers across the U.S., getting a driver's license is an exciting rite of passage. It may come as a surprise that a recent study by AAA has shown that more and more teenagers are delaying this important milestone, instead waiting to get their licenses after they are young adults. According to AAA, only about 44 percent of teenagers got their licenses within a year of turning 16; by 18, barely over half were licensed drivers.
Reasons Teens Are Delaying Their Licenses
The cost of paying for and maintaining a vehicle is a major reason many teenagers have put off driving. Gas and insurance are also expensive. Many teens say they can get to where they need to go by walking, riding a bike, getting a ride or taking public transportation instead. Some have said they just didn't get around to getting a license. The deaths of teenage drivers dropped by about half between 2000 and 2010, said the Pew Charitable Trusts, but now that the economy is improving, fatal accidents
involving young drivers are increasing again. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that car crashes are still the leading cause of death for U.S. teens.
While teenagers who don't drive can avoid causing an accident, delaying getting a driver's license may be more dangerous in the long run. Graduated driver's license laws in Arizona and every other state require certain restrictions for driving time and night driving, which allow teenagers to gradually gain experience and become safer on the roads. Most of these restrictions don't apply to new drivers over the age of 18, meaning that a driver who is relatively inexperienced can still get a driver's license by passing the tests.
According to Teen Driver Source, the most common reasons young drivers get into accidents include:
- Being distracted by friends, cellphones
, music and other sources.
- Speeding or driving too fast for road or weather conditions.
- Lack of experience recognizing or reacting to dangerous situations.
- Inexperience driving at night.
- Drinking and driving.
A large amount of teenagers are also known to not use their seatbelts, a leading cause of death and serious injury in crashes.
The importance of gaining experience and wearing seatbelts was shown in a tragic accident that occurred in Phoenix last August, reported News on 6. While driving his siblings to school, a 16-year-old unlicensed boy was allegedly speeding and passing other cars on the right when he lost control of his car and hit another vehicle head-on. The driver of the other car was killed, as well as three of the boy's own brothers. None of the children were wearing seatbelts.
It remains to be seen whether the trend of getting licenses at a later age will increase the risk of young adults causing car accidents. Those who were hurt in an accident caused by a teenager or inexperienced driver should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss their options.
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