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Teen drivers pose particular threat to pedestrians

Most residents of the greater Tampa area probably think that teenage drivers pose a higher risk on the road than drivers with more experience.

There are good reasons to think this based on current statistics. For example, according to one recent study, drivers between the ages of 16 and 19, who are in all likelihood inexperienced motorists, were involved in over 1 million crashes that affected over 2.8 million different people.

With over 3,250 victims dying, this means that for every 10,000 people involved in a collision with a teen driver, over 11 were killed.

Interestingly, it was people who were not in cars who appeared to fare particularly poorly when it came to crashes involving teenage drivers. Whereas drivers of other cars were killed at the rate of 7.7 per 10,000, pedestrians, bicyclists and the like ha a fatality rate of 443.6 death per 10,000 involved in accidents with teenage drivers.

While it might be difficult to give a precise explanation for why teen drivers seem to affect pedestrians and other non-motorists disproportionately, understanding the common risk factors prevalent among teen drivers might help. The significant contributors to accidents involving teenage drivers seemed to be speeding, driving the overnight hours and driving with other teenagers as opposed to alone or with adults.

The important thing for pedestrians in the Tampa area to remember is that teenage drivers, and possibly their parents, can be held legally accountable for the actions on the road just the same as other motorists. This means that if they cause a pedestrian accident whether due to a failure to yield, distracted driving or some other reason, they may have to pay for their victims' medical bills, lost wages and other losses and damages.

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