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Frightening statistics about teen car accidents

You're worried about your daily commute. You've been doing it for years without issue, but you've recently been reading about car accident statistics, and the numbers are staggering.

As you've started digging into things, you've also begun paying closer attention to the drivers around you. Many of them are teens and college students going to and from school.

That makes you the most nervous of all. You know teen drivers may have passed classes and tests, but they're still inexperienced. You suspect that makes them high-risk drivers. Even though you're in your 50s, with a clean driving record, you know that one mistake by another driver could land you in the hospital.

Crash statistics

It's wise to be careful. Understanding the risks you face is critical. Per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and related sources, here are some of the most frightening statistics.

  • Young men are in about 66 percent of deadly teen accidents, while young women are in the other 33 percent. That means that two out of every three teens who pass away from their injuries are male.
  • School breaks increase the risks. For instance, the months that saw the most deadly teen accidents in 2012 were June and July. Any time that teens are not in the classroom, the odds of an accident spike.
  • The weekends are also vastly more dangerous than week days. For instance, the study found that more than half -- 53 percent -- of teen car accident fatalities happen on Sunday, Saturday and Friday. That shows a significant trend in the data, as less than half of the week accounts for more than half of the deadly accidents.
  • According to the National Center for Health Statistics, for those ranging in age from 15 years old to 20 years old, nothing causes as many unintentional deaths as car accidents. This does have to do with teens' general good health at a young age, but it also shows how many serious accidents they're involved in.
  • For very young drivers, from just 16 years old to 17 years old, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that the fatal accident odds go up as each new passenger gets added to the car. So, while a lone teen driver poses a risk, it's far higher when there are five teens all carpooling together.
  • Evening and night driving also showed an increased risk. For instance, 17 percent of the deadly accidents occurred during the period from 9 in the evening to midnight. That's the highest rate for any single period of the day.

Can you avoid the risks?

The problem with knowing these statistics is that you simply can't always avoid the risks. Your schedule dictates when you drive, and you can't control other drivers on the road around you. All you can do is focus on understanding your legal options if you're injured in a serious wreck caused by a teen driver.

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