Teen drivers are much more likely to be involved in a collision than their older counterparts whether in Chicago or elsewhere across the state. In part, this is because teen drivers are less experienced, more distracted, and more likely to make poor decisions while driving.
If you are a teen or if you have a teen driver in your household, the apparent dangers likely are on your mind on a regular basis. Yet teens are likely to be involved in accidents with drivers of all ages, meaning that even if you do not know a teen driver, you should still be aware of the issues facing these young motorists and be alert for any potential dangers.
In 2010, approximately 2,700 teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 were killed in car accidents in the United States which translated to the biggest cause of accidental death among this age group. An additional 281,000 teens were injured but survived accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These numbers are disproportionately high when compared to the numbers of fatal and injury-causing accidents in the United States.
All teens are at a high risk for an auto accident but among those 16-19 years old, males are more likely than females to be involved in a collision and those licensed most recently cause the largest number of crashes. This is particularly true for teen drivers who have been licensed for six months or less.
Teen Drivers Are More Likely to be Distracted
Surveys conducted among drivers of all ages have revealed that teen drivers are more likely to engage in some behaviors considered to be distractions while driving. This includes making phone calls, texting, eating, or even talking to friends while behind the wheel as well as any other activity that diverts a teen's attention from the road.
Most states have laws forbidding distracted driving but these tend to vary from state to state, making it difficult to understand exactly what is prohibited in a certain area. However if an activity causes a driver of any age to lose focus, fail to pay attention, or otherwise be distracted, that activity should not be engaged in while driving.
The rise in popularity and the rapid advancements seen in cell phones has been a leading cause of distracted driving among teens. As a group, teen drivers are more likely to speed and to follow too closely which means in the event an obstacle appears in their path, like a pedestrian or a slowing vehicle, a teen will have less time to avoid a collision. If even a momentary delay in observing the obstacle occurs, it may make the difference between a teen's ability to avoid a crash and becoming the cause of an accident.
Checking a new email message, looking at or sending a text message, or browsing the internet are known to take a driver's eyes off the road for critical seconds, leaving the driver with the inability to notice changes in traffic conditions, including a changing traffic light. Every year, more and more drivers admit that they were responsible for a crash because they were focused on their cell phones instead of the road and many of these collisions result in injuries or even death.
What to Do After a Collision with a Teen Driver
As long as teens continue to drive, some of them will be involved in collisions with other cars, buses, trucks, or even pedestrians. Some of these may be the teen's fault while others may be the fault of another party involved. Regardless, an accident involving a teenager is dangerous and distressing for everyone in the teen's family.
Illinois law provides accident victims with the right to seek a financial recovery against a driver who caused an accident and who left the victim injured or to that victim's surviving family members if the victim is killed. Often, these claims can be resolved against the at-fault driver's automobile insurance or, in some cases, against the victim's own insurance policy. The facts of the accident determine which claims may be available.
Following a Chicago-area collision, you should not have to worry about how you will pay your medical bills or whether you will be able to provide for your family while you are unable to work. An experienced injury lawyer can help you by bringing a civil claim for your damages against any and all responsible parties as the facts of your case allow.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we have successfully resolved numerous claims on behalf of our clients who were injured in automobile collisions and we have the experience to help those who have been seriously injured obtain settlements they deserve. Call us toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO or locally at (312) 924-7575 after your accident and let us help you by providing you with a free, no obligation telephone consultation 24 hours a day.
If you have been involved in an accident with a teen driver, call us at (855) 529-2442 or Contact Us online for a free consultation.