According to Actions News Jax, a recent motor vehicle accident in Clay County left a 20-year-old woman was seriously hurt. The young Florida woman was driving on Thunder Road near Darlene Road at approximately 4:00 AM when her vehicle struck a tree. Police indicate she was taken to Orange Park Medical Center. The crash was under investigation, and police did not know what the cause of the collision was.
This young woman was among the many drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 who will become involved in auto accidents over the course of the year. It is drivers in this age group who have been found to engage most frequently in the types of high-risk behavior that leads to auto accidents, according to a study recently conducted by AAA Traffic Safety Foundation.
Young Motorists Are the Riskiest on the Roads
Drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 are much more likely than drivers in other age groups to do things behind the wheel likely to cause a significant increased risk of traffic collisions. When asked by AAA about the high-risk behaviors they'd engaged in recently, 88.4 percent of drivers ages 19 to 24 admitted to doing things like speeding, texting, and running red lights.
By comparison, 69.3 percent of younger drivers ages 16 to 18 said they had done these things. Seniors were the least likely to have engaged in these high-risk behaviors, with 67.3 percent of motorists ages 60 to 74 admitting to texting, speeding, or ignoring traffic lights.
The fact that drivers ages 19 to 24 are more likely to engage in high-risk driving behaviors matters a lot because these behaviors lead to a significant number of deaths annually. In 2015 alone, 3,477 people were killed in collisions attributed to distracted driving, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Foundation. With drivers ages 19 to 24 significantly more likely than other motorists to both write and read texts and emails while driving, these young adult drivers are directly contributing to the dangers of distracted driving accidents.
Speeding is also a leading reason for car accident deaths, with speeding identified as a contributing factor in 30 percent of dealing accidents in 2012, according to according to NHTSA . In total, 10,219 people died in crashes attributed at least in some part to drivers going too fast. When drivers 19 to 24 ignore speed limits, they up the chances they won't be able to stop before hitting obstacles or losing control of the vehicle. Young adult drivers and other victims involved in high-speed crashes are more likely to be seriously hurt or killed, since higher speeds mean more momentum and a greater impact for the body to absorb.
Finally, teen drivers 19-34 also were more likely to run red lights, and to find this behavior acceptable. In 2014 alone, almost 710 people were killed and 126,000 people got hurt when drivers ran red lights, according to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. No young driver wants to be responsible for running a red and causing a fatal accident, yet young drivers take this unnecessary chance regularly and see nothing wrong with this choice.
Getting somewhere a little earlier or replying to a text a little sooner is not worth someone's life. Young adult drivers need to learn to prioritize driving safely over everything else when they are behind the wheel.