Are teens more prone to risky behavior behind the wheel?

Adolescents being prone to reckless behavior would never be considered “breaking news,” particularly to those who continually interact with them. However, a recent study published in Developmental Science shows something far more troubling in the very DNA of young people.

The new research confirms that teenage brains are wired to engage in risky behaviors that spike during adolescence.

The study looked at more than 5,000 teens and young adults from the United States and 10 other countries. Researchers identified that “sensation seeking” peaks at around age 19. A young adult’s ability to self-regulate or resist the impulse climbs until their brain is fully developed at age 23 or 24.

The findings cited various types of bad conduct that ranged from sexual activity to drug and alcohol abuse. However, one type of behavior stands out as particularly troubling.

Dangerous driving.

In 2015, young driver fatalities in Maryland skyrocketed by 75 percent. While numbers are not final for 2016, deaths of teenagers in motor vehicle collisions climbed even higher. Over a ten-year period, Maryland police reported an accident almost every night between 10 p.m. and midnight that involved a 16 or 17-year-old driver.

In response to these startling statistics, Maryland lawmakers are looking to turn back time. Unless a teenager is driving because of work, school, or athletics, or they are in the company of a licensed driver at least 21 years-old, they cannot operate a motor vehicle past 10 p.m.

Naturally, young drivers and their parents are pushing back on the proposal, claiming that an earlier driving deadline is inconvenient. Legislators counter with claims that the bill is about prevention, not punishment. In today’s technological world, teenagers have options that include Uber and Lyft to avoid driving after curfew.

While arguments continue, one fight seemingly cannot be won: the battle in the teen brain between reasonable and risky behavior, especially while driving.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Steven H. Dorne

Attorney Steven H. Dorne

Attorney Steven H. Dorne is an accomplished lawyer who practices in state and federal courts in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. He brings more than 30 years of experience and a long record of success to each case. His law practice is distinguished by careful preparation and thorough analysis of each case...

Learn More
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
  • ABA
  • Trial Lawyers Association Of Metropolitan Washington D.C | Working For Justice
  • Maryland Association For Justice
  • American Association For Justice
  • MSBA

Call Or Email For A Free Consultation

If you have suffered a personal injury in a car crash or other accident, need help with another type of dispute, we are prepared to help. Contact our lawyer online or call 877-234-4179 to schedule an initial consultation. There is no cost or obligation to contact us. Se habla español. For your convenience, we have offices in Washington D.C., Rockville, Greenbelt and Fairfax.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Rockville Office
200-A Monroe St.
Suite 100
Rockville, MD 20850

Toll Free: 877-234-4179
Phone: 301-637-8078
Fax: 301-251-0730
Map & Directions

Rockville Office

Washington D.C. Office
1150 Seventeenth St. NW
Suite 305
Washington, D.C. 20036

Toll Free: 877-234-4179
Phone: 301-637-8078
Fax: 301-251-0730
Map & Directions

Washington Office

Capital Office Park
6305 Ivy Lane
Suite 408
Greenbelt, MD 20770

Toll Free: 877-234-4179
Phone: 301-637-8078
Fax: 301-251-0730
Map & Directions

Greenbelt Office

Fairfax Office
10521 Judicial Dr.
Suite 303
Fairfax, VA 22030

Toll Free: 877-234-4179
Phone: 703-722-6446
Fax: 301-251-0730
Map & Directions

Fairfax Office
  • Toll Free 877-234-4179
  • Maryland/D.C. 301-637-8078
  • Virginia 703-722-6446
  • Fax 301-251-0730
Back To Top