The battle of the ages has raged on for decades on whether older people are better drivers than younger people. But does age determine experience when it comes to driving behind the wheel of a motor vehicle? According to national research, safe driving has more to do with experience than age, but age also plays a role in statistical data around crashes in the U.S.
In a study conducted by AAA, the research showed that although motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for young beginner drivers, older drivers have high fatality rates in car crashes too. The data shows that there is more to safe driving than just age and experience, and there are many factors that contribute to safe and dangerous drivers.
Are Inexperienced Drivers More Dangerous on the Road?
Understanding the rules of the road and the responsibility of driving a motor vehicle is like learning a new skill and getting on-the-job training. The more you drive and react to obstacles, drive on different roads, and experience driving, the more responsible you can become. Since young new drivers have not gained experience and their brains are not fully developed to react responsibly, they are at risk when they get behind the wheel.
The following are examples of how an inexperienced driver can be more dangerous:
Teenage drivers are more likely to engage in dangerous driving when another teen driver is in the car with no adult supervision. The risk of an accident increases with each additional teenage passenger.
Bad Decision Making
The teenage brain is not fully developed, causing a higher risk of engaging in risky behavior like speeding, racing other cars, and driving aggressively. Since their brain development is not mature, even their reaction to potential hazards can be delayed, especially when they’re distracted.
Less Aware of Consequences
With less experience and time behind the wheel, young drivers do not understand the magnitude of the responsibilities of driving a vehicle, making them less aware of their surroundings, and the potential to be injured in an accident.
Teenage drivers and their families can decrease their risk of accidents by learning how to drive through a reputable driver’s education and ensuring that they always drive with an experienced driver, even after they have their driver’s license. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to a distracted driver, contact our experienced personal injury lawyers today.
Are Experienced Drivers Better Drivers?
Having road knowledge comes with experience, and overall, experienced drivers understand the rules of the road and the responsibilities of driving safely. However, when it comes to driving while distracted, whether from a conversation with a passenger or texting while driving, no one is immune from accidents when there are distractions.
In general, there are critical safety measures for all drivers to follow to keep everyone safe on the road:
Wear a Seatbelt
Everyone in a vehicle must wear a seatbelt because they are the most effective way of preventing or reducing injuries during a car accident.
Don’t Drink and Drive
While this is a public safety law, it is important to note that drinking and driving at any age is dangerous and causes thousands of fatalities and injuries every day, leaving victims and their families with a tremendous amount of suffering.
Don’t Text and Drive
Every state decides on how to mandate texting and driving. The consensus overall shows that texting while driving is dangerous and causes thousands of fatalities and accidents every year. While most teenagers are notorious texters, experienced drivers are at just as much risk when they text and drive as their younger counterparts.
Drive Under Safe Conditions
Inclement weather conditions are not safe to drive in for any level of driving experience. While an experienced driver may know that they are not confident driving in a thunderstorm, a younger driver may need to refrain from driving in such conditions unless an experienced driver supervises them.
Lastly, while experience can make a safer driver, studies also show that as people age and become elderly drivers, they pose more of a risk on the road due to age-related problems that can impede driving ability.
The most important driving factor is being a responsible driver and understanding that if you are distracted, impaired in any way, or engage in high-risk driving behavior, you could potentially harm yourself and others in a car accident.
Personal Injury Lawyers in Southeastern Pennsylvania
Anyone can cause an accident or be in an accident in their lifetime. Even the safest and most experienced drivers are at risk because there are negligent drivers on the road of all ages and experience levels. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, the lawyers at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford have over 65 years of experience in personal injury law. If you have been injured due to a negligent driver, we may be able to help you seek compensation for your injuries. Contact us today at (215) 822-7575 or fill out our contact form to discuss your case.