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Facts about teen drivers and car accidents

If you’ve heard someone in Illinois complaining about teen drivers, you’ve probably heard that a lot of people think that teens are something of a danger on the roads due to their lack of experience. Though this is something that clearly can’t be fixed without putting them behind the wheel — to get that experience — people will sometimes talk about changing the driving age. However, what do the facts look like?

In a lot of ways, they actually support these opinions. For example, only 14 percent of the population in the United States is between the ages of 15 and 24. Despite this, they still are responsible for 30 percent of the overall cost of injuries to young men that occur in car accidents. They are also responsible for 28 percent of the overall cost of injuries to young women. The costs work out to $19 billion and $7 billion, respectively.

In fact, legal teen drivers — anyone who is between the ages of 16 and 19 — have the highest accident totals in the nation. There is not one other age bracket that racks up more accidents.

The most telling statistic of all is that of fatalities. If a driver is still in his or her teens, the odds of that driver being involved in a fatal crash are three times higher than the odds for any drivers who are over the age of 20. When split up by genders, young men were in deadly crashes twice as often as young women.

If you have been injured in an accident that was caused by a teen driver, be sure that you know your legal options.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Teen Drivers: Get the Facts” accessed Jan. 15, 2015

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