Inexperienced Teen Drivers Pose New Risks After COVID-19 Lockdowns

By Peter DePaolis

The recent pandemic has made waves in almost every aspect of our daily lives, from closed schools & shuttered businesses, to remote working and reduced social gathering overall. Once restrictions ease recovery can be swift in many cases, however, we will also face many new risks to our safety as a result of the pandemic and the lockdowns. Some of the most significant are those posed by newly-permitted or licensed teen drivers hitting the roads.

These risks can create a heightened chance for collisions or accidents, which can be so minor as to not even scuff your paint, or they can leave you looking for a Virginia car accident attorney. We’re going to break down why these new drivers may pose an increased risk over non-pandemic new drivers, what exactly those risks are, and what you and your family can do to minimize them as much as possible.

The Opportunities To Practice Have Been Scarce

Teen drivers in the past have always been able to get a reasonable amount of driving practice by driving during regular errands and outings with their families. In the altered pandemic learning atmosphere, teens are seeing far less opportunity to hone their new driving skills and get those crucial practice hours. In locations where lockdowns and business closures were long-running, many new drivers may have a dangerous lack of experience in on-the-road driving.

If your teen is one of those affected by the lockdowns and has not been able to get the practice you or they feel is necessary, they must get as much opportunity as possible. As vaccination rates continue to rise, more businesses and activities are resuming operations, so while more practice will be available new drivers and parents should still take care since there will also be a higher number of new drivers utilizing this new practice time.

Immaturity Plays A Big Role

The AAA Foundation recently conducted research that shows that new teen drivers, aged 16 and 17, have nearly triple the chance of being involved in a crash with fatalities than adults. Nearly 1 in 3 teens openly admit to texting while driving, which is illegal in most areas, making them many times more likely to be involved in a crash. This lack of experience and maturity often manifests in other distracting behaviors as well, including eating & drinking, applying cosmetics, and even consuming media.


Do What You Can To Keep You And Your Family Safe

There are a lot of things that we can’t control in this world, and while the actions of others are among them, we can do our best to help keep our loved ones safe. Have an honest talk with your teens about responsible driving habits, and how they impact everyone on the road. Additionally, be sure you are leading by example, and striving to always demonstrate the behavior and care you want you to see in others.

Contact our Virginia personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.