Of all drivers in Mississippi, the number of 16- to 19-year-old teens is comparatively low. However, the number of motor vehicle accidents and fatalities for the same age group is much higher than it is for older drivers. Several factors are at play here, but the most common one is inexperience with driving.
How many 16-year-old drivers are there?
For the past decade, the number of brand-new 16-year-old drivers taking to the road has decreased. Even so, car accidents remain the number-one cause of death for teenagers. In fact, teen fatalities from MVA are nearly three times as high as for older drivers.
Who is most at risk of motor vehicle accidents?
Certain scenarios put new drivers at greater risk of being involved in an MVA. As noted, inexperience is a leading factor in many of these accidents. In general, male drivers are two times more likely than female drivers to be involved in an accident.
One scenario that puts teen drivers at risk of MVA is when a new teenage driver is transporting teenage friends. The driver easily becomes distracted from what is happening outside of the vehicle because they are paying more attention to conversation or other happenings inside the vehicle.
Another time in which teen drivers are most at risk is within the first few months of receiving their licenses. New 16-year-old drivers have about a 1.5 times greater chance of being in an accident than 18- to 19-year-old drivers.
What to do when your teenager is in an accident
Ideally, you should educate your new driver about the importance of buckling up, not driving while drowsy, not driving distracted, not using a cell phone while driving, and not driving recklessly. Prevention is the best way to minimize teen fatalities from motor vehicle accidents.
In the event that your new driver has been in an accident, seek medical attention immediately. Then, you may want to consult with a personal injury attorney. Instruct your teenager to take photos of the scene, if possible, and to not admit fault. Exchange contact information if another driver was involved in the MVA. Never post pictures of the accident to social media.