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How risky are the roads for teen drivers in Mississippi?

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2024 | Car Accidents

In Mississippi, parents and law enforcement are vigilant about emphasizing to teens the risks inherent in driving. Despite that, teen auto accidents are prevalent and cause injuries and death.

It is important to know the statistics as to why and how they happen to take steps to try and prevent them. A recent study assessed teen auto collisions with fatalities and listed where each state ranked. Mississippi came in fifth.

Zutobi report shows potential challenges for teen drivers

The online driver education resource Zutobi tracks auto accidents as part of its mission. Since the most common way in which teens lose their lives is in an auto collision, this is a major problem to address.

The most recent comprehensive numbers show that for younger drivers, the spike in deaths was worrisome going back to 2020 when it rose by nearly 20% when compared to 2019. For 2022, there were more than 3,000 road deaths in which a teen driver aged 15 to 20 was involved. This was a slight improvement from 2021 when there were just over 3,200. Compared to 2013, it marked a rise of around 400 people losing their lives in this type of accident.

Teens tend to be immature and lack road experience. This causes them to make mistakes older drivers would not.

Those under 21 are not legally allowed to drink alcohol, but that does not mean they will not do so and subsequently get behind the wheel thinking they can do so safely. In 2021, 588 teens were killed in accidents related to alcohol use. In 2022, it was 632. Teens tend to overestimate their ability to control the vehicle and choose to drive at excessive speeds. There were more than 1,800 teen deaths in 2022 that were connected to speeding.

Distraction has grown worse with the prominence of smartphones. In 2022, nearly 300 teens lost their lives in this kind of accident. It goes beyond smartphones with teens distracted by passengers, multitasking, eating and changing the radio.

The numbers in Mississippi show that for every 100,000 teen drivers, there were nearly 40 deaths. According to Zutobi, males are more susceptible to dangerous behaviors, accidents and deaths than their female counterparts. Safe driving for teens goes beyond understanding the laws and knowing what they technically should and should not do. It extends to practical experience that can only be accrued with safe driving and encouragement from adults and people in positions of authority.

People should know what to do after an auto crash

When there is a motor vehicle accident and people are injured or lose their lives, there will be a litany of questions as to what will happen next. For teens who were hurt, their entire lives and futures can be upended with medical costs, long-term damage, the inability to work and more. For others who are injured because of the recklessness of a teen driver, there are similar challenges that will arise. A fatality will be even costlier personally, financially and emotionally. After the accident, it is imperative to know what steps to take. Considering all options is crucial to make a full recovery.