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Why are teen drivers at risk of a car accident?

Anybody, regardless of age, can cause a motor vehicle accident. And even if you don't cause an accident, you could still be involved. Teenagers, however, are more likely to be involved in a car accident. There are many reasons for this, including but not limited to the following:

-- Teens are more likely to underestimate the situation they are in.

-- Teens are less likely to realize that they are in a hazardous situation.

-- Teens are more likely than others, those who have more experience, to speed and drive in a reckless manner.

-- Teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use in the United States, thus increasing the number of fatalities and serious injuries in accidents.

-- Teens often times use alcohol and then drive. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that 17 percent of drivers in 2013 in the 16 to 20 age group had a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or higher when involved in an accident.

Some teen drivers are more skilled and experienced than others. Unfortunately, there will always be a large number of teenagers who put themselves and others at risk when behind the wheel.

As a teen driver or the parent of a teen driver, there are things you can do to help prevent accidents in the future. For example, don't drink and drive. Also, you should never use a cell phone when behind the wheel.

If you are ever involved in a car accident, don't worry so much about the cause. Instead, your health, as well as the well being of others, should come first.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Teen Drivers: Get the Facts," accessed May 31, 2016

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