Statistically, teen drivers present one of the largest risks for causing and being involved in a car accident in the US. Teens are less experienced behind the wheel and less knowledgeable than their older counterparts, making them less capable of making informed decisions when a hazard arises. Further, teens often self report a greater amount of distracted driving while behind the wheel including texting while driving, distraction by other occupants in the car, and distraction by in-car features like a radio.
Teens often look forward to a time when they can drive on their own and without adult supervision. The freedom that comes with driving is one that most teens crave but few teens respect. The possibility of a serious or even fatal collision is far from the minds of the average teenage driver who may be more focused on arriving at their designation as quickly as possible.
But the dangers of teenage drivers are on the minds of many others, specifically the parents of these teens. Even the best driver's education cannot compensate for a lack of experience behind the wheel meaning that even the most prepared teens are still a threat to others.
7 Tips to Keep Your Teen Safe of the Road
- Speak to your teen driver about the dangers of car accidents and why driving safely is so important.
- Ensure they get extra practice and even professional lessons, in addition to what is required by law.
- Restrict night driving so that your teen is only driving when visibility is ideal.
- Teach your teen to keep a safe following distance since this can help avoid an accident even when mistakes are made.
- Limit the amount of passengers your teen can have in the car with them. Oftentimes, a car full friends can be very distracting.
- Talk to your teen about the dangers of speeding and even considering installing a device or app to monitor your teen's speed and driving behavior.
- Be involved with your teen's driving. Drive with them even after they are done with learner's permit. Speak to them about driving habits more than just right before and after they get their license. And of course, practice what you preach by driving safely when they are in the car with you.
Teen Driving Accident Statistics
- In the United States, 2,364 teens between the ages of 16 and 19 were killed in 2017.
- Another 300,000 were treated in the ER for injuries suffered during accidents
- These numbers equate to 6 teens in this age group dying every day due to motor vehicle accidents.
- Hundreds more are injured every single day.
*Statistics gathered from CDC.govMany of these teens were drivers of a car or were passengers in a car driven by another teenager. The thousands of teens who die each year leave so much pain and suffering behind for their families, friends, and communities. And, the ones who survive, are often left with crippling medical bills, lost time at work and school, and sometimes, permanent disabilities.
Car accidents continue to be the biggest cause of accidental death among teenagers in this nation. But in addition to the teens that lose their lives in accidents are others involved in these crashes. It may be passengers inside the teen's vehicle or a driver in another car that was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Causes of Teen Driving Accidents
There are many reasons that teenagers are at a higher risk of fatal car accidents than other age groups. Some of those reasons include:
- Teenagers are less experienced drivers and thus are more prone to mistakes.
- Teen drivers are more prone to distracted, reckless, or aggressive driving due to immature brain development.
- Teenagers are less likely to wear seatbelts than other age groups, which increases the likelihood of fatality or serious injury following an accident.
- Teenagers may be prone to drunk driving as they experiment with their new found freedoms.
These causes need to be addressed with teen drivers to ensure that they keep themselves and others safe on the road. This is why it’s so important for parents and guardians of teen drivers to educate them on risky behaviors to help reduce the chances they injure themselves or others.
Liability Following a Teen Car Accident
After any car accident, local authorities attempt to determine the factors that led to the crash and to identify whether anyone involved acted in a negligent or reckless manner. These officials also make the determination whether to issue traffic citations or criminal charges as a result of a collision and they make initial determinations as to whether the conduct of each driver was lawful.
This holds true in accidents involving teenage drivers as well but in many states, these investigations are slightly more complicated. Depending on the area where a collision occurred, newly licensed and teenage drivers may have greater restrictions on their conduct than drivers at large. This can include a prohibition on other minors in the car or even limited hours or locations when and where a teen may drive.
For those under the age of 21, there is no legal blood alcohol content like there is for adults because persons under the legal drinking age are prohibited from having alcohol in their system whether they are driving or not. In many areas, teens with even a trace amount of liquor in their bodies may be guilty of violating the law.
Damages Caused by a Teen Driver Accident
When a teenage driver causes a collision, those injured in the crash may be entitled to seek relief for their damages. Common damages following a car accident can include medical and surgical bills, nursing expenses, and lost wages.
Victims can also seek compensation for other damages including pain and suffering endured, scarring, and the permanency of any injuries.
The right of a victim to seek a recovery is not dependent on whether an at-fault teen receives a citation in the crash but rather is guaranteed by the local laws in Phoenix as well as the state laws of Arizona.
Teen drivers can also be victims of the negligence of others on the road. When this happens, a teenage victims may likewise be entitled to relief for any damages sustained. The teen or the teen's family may be able to bring a claim against an at-fault driver for injuries and other damages sustained. In the event that an at-fault driver cannot be located due to a hit-and-run accident or for other reasons, the teen may still be able to recover through the use of an uninsured motorist claim.
Phoenix Area Lawyers for Victims of Teen Car Accidents
If you have become a victim of a teen car accident, you may be entitled to a recovery for your damages and the expenses you have incurred. Call the personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let one of our skilled attorneys provide you with a case consultation discussing your accident and your legal rights as a result. We are standing by 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to take your call and give you the answers you need, whenever you need them. Call us today at (855) 749-5299 or locally at (602) 819-5191 and let us help you get a recovery you deserve.