Car accidents are the leading cause of death for Florida teens, and adolescents face four times the crash risk as drivers over 20, particularly within the first 18 months after receiving their driver’s license. Part of the reason for that could be immaturity, which could lead to dangerous actions behind the wheel that heighten the crash risk. But a new report also finds teen drivers have a greater chance of serious injury or death in a crash because they’re more likely to be driving older, smaller cars.
As one research scientist for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety stated, “Despite everything we know about young drivers and crash risk, teens are still driving the least safe vehicles. Small vehicles do not protect as well in a crash, and older vehicles are less likely to be equipped with essential safety equipment.”
The study authors examined data from deadly crashes that occurred between 2013 and 2017. What they discovered was that among teen motorists killed in these crashes, those operating older vehicles faced four times the fatality risk as those driving newer models. Furthermore, nearly 70 percent of teens who died in collisions were in vehicles that were older than six years. Teenagers also spend more than half their drive time in a vehicle that’s more than a decade old. Nearly one-third of those who died were in vehicles that were lighter and smaller. Less than 4 percent of teen drivers who lost their lives in crashes were in vehicles under three years old.
Our Fort Myers car accident lawyers understand parents’ reluctance to pay a lot of money for their teenager’s first vehicle. But what many probably are not aware of is how much less safe those older cars are.