You may already know that car accidents are a serious concern for teens, a leading cause of injury and death, but did you know that most of those deadly crashes happen at night? According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 58 percent of fatal teen car accidents happen between six in the evening and six in the morning.
It's not just deadly crashes, either. When asked, 70 percent of teens said they'd driven when they were too tired. The risks of an injury accident are also very high.
Why does this happen? There are a lot of factors, starting with inexperience. Teens are already the least experienced of all driver age groups, and they just haven't had that much time driving in the dark. They make mistakes that older drivers may avoid.
Visibility is also an issue. It's far harder to see, and teen drivers are still learning to observe and react to conditions on the road. This can mean that their response times are already slower, as they may not recognize risk factors as quickly -- like traffic slowing down ahead of them -- and reduced visibility just limits their reactions even more.
Naturally, fatigue can also play a role. When drivers are too tired, their responses aren't as quick and precise. A driver who is fighting to stay awake may overlook important things, like speed limits or a warning sign indicating that there's a stop light on the other side of a hill. Worst of all, fatigued teens who are out too late could even nod off behind the wheel.
For all of these reasons and more, teens simply tend to be involved in a high percentage of nighttime accidents. If you've been injured in such a crash, you may have mounting medical bills and many other costs. It's crucial to know if you have a right to compensation, as you may not have to cover these costs yourself.
Source: T Driver, "Nighttime and Drowsy Driving," accessed Jan. 13, 2017