Comparisons between adult and teen drivers
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By Kelli Davis, Teen correspondent  July 31, 2014 09:58 am

As of 2014, driving motorized vehicles has never been safer. With all of the recent technology leaps having been put to use in the latest car models and educational notices about driving, there has virtually been no better time to be out on the road. Even so, there are bound to be accidents, and the statistics regarding some of them may surprise you. 

Teenagers as a whole have always been known as the most at-risk group for car accidents and irresponsible driving, but there are some truths that you might not have been expecting. There are a number of factors stacked against teen drivers: they are more susceptible to peer pressure while driving; some believe themselves to be invincible; and they are just not as experienced as most adult drivers.

With the risks teens face while driving, you’d think that adult driving surpasses them in all arenas. However, a study done by AT&T proved adults use their phones more than teens when driving. Of the teens interviewed, 43 percent said they use their phones when driving, while 49 percent of adults said they use theirs. 

This study also showed that 98 percent of adults know that using their phones to text or look at their emails is dangerous, and that 60 percent said they didn’t use their phones for this purpose just three years before the interview, which was in 2012. 

Without a doubt, adults are overall the safest drivers on the whole because they are usually used to driving and don’t believe themselves to be infallible on the road. As previously discussed though, adults take risks when driving in some of the same ways that teens do. Without the strict rules that teens have imposed on them, some adults make dangerous mistakes when driving. 

Adults over the age of 21 can legally drink, which can lead to very hazardous driving conditions for themselves and other drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 10,000 people were killed in DUI accidents in 2012, which was 31 percent of all driving accident deaths that year. Also, adult drivers are allowed to drive at whatever hours of the day they want, which can be just as dangerous as driving while distracted. Adults who have worked long shifts and drive home in the early morning are the drowsiest on the road. Tired drivers are shown to have a lowered reaction time, which can be the difference between having an accident or not, and also affects their decision making and attentiveness behind the wheel. 

There is no rule saying that all teen drivers are automatically bad just because of their age, or that all adult drivers are good because of their experience or maturity levels. Within each age group, there are dangerous drivers, and the more time spent thinking that one age group has the most irresponsible drivers, the more justification for your own bad habits. Basically, if somebody doesn’t drive distracted, they are doing a good job of driving, regardless of how long they’ve been operating a vehicle. 

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