Teen Car Accidents
For years, the leading cause of death among teens is motor vehicle accidents. In fact, 12 percent of fatal car crashes involve teen drivers. Unfortunately, about 5000 teens between 16 and 19 died in these accidents, and another 400,000 are injured each year. As a teen driver, you are four times more likely to be involved in a car accident than other drivers.
Of course, inexperience, as well as the thrill of independence and mobility along with feelings of immortality, are key factors in the high rate of teen car accidents. Teens are more likely to speed and tailgate than their older counterparts. Males are even more at risk as they are one-and-a-half times more at risk than female teen drivers to be in a fatal car accident.
The most recent complete statistics available show that in 2013, about 24 percent of male teen drivers had been drinking and 38 percent were speeding when a crash occurred. Teens are also less likely to wear seatbelts, and 70 percent of those killed in crashes were not secured in their vehicles.
Prevention of Teen Accidents
Because teens, as well as other first-time motorists, are at a much higher risk of being involved in an accident during their first year of driving, all states are now using a graduated licensing program. This might include allowing drivers under 18 to drive only between certain hours and with an adult as a passenger.
School driving education classes and driver training are essential as well. Teens, as well as adults for that matter, need to be educated about the dangers of texting and driving and other distractions. Technology is now available that can incapacitate a cell phone while a car is moving. Statistics from MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) indicate that 56 percent of teens admit using a cell phone while driving and 34 percent affirm that they send and respond to text messages while driving.
Encouraging seat belt use, not drinking and driving and avoiding late night driving can substantially reduce injuries and fatalities as well. Many schools invite speakers, show movies or put on plays during school hours to dramatize how cell phone use, drinking or engaging in other high-risk behavior while driving can devastate not only the life of the driver but entire families.
Liability in Teen Car Accidents
Teens are insured like any other motorist, though their premiums are usually much higher. Still, anyone injured by a teen driver as a passenger or as another motorist can bring a claim alleging negligence. This can include speeding, making an unsafe lane change, running a red traffic signal, making an illegal U-turn, following too close and rear-ending another car or any other moving violation. Drinking, use of drugs and cell phones can also cause any driver to use poor judgment or lose control of a car and are major factors in accidents as indicated above.
Another avenue to compensation is if the teen was drinking and had been served alcohol at a commercial establishment or a private home. Dram shop laws differ from state to state, but many will allow civil liability against a bar or club that served a minor who later drove and injured someone. Social host laws allow civil suits against private homeowners who knowingly served or allowed alcohol to be consumed by a minor who then drove a car and injured or killed someone. In any of these cases, a seasoned personal injury lawyer will look for all sources of compensation in cases where there are serious or fatal injuries to ensure injured victims are sufficiently compensated.
Have You Been Injured in a Car Accident? Call Us Today!
If you’ve been injured in a car accident or lost a loved one in a fatal crash, you need a dedicated team of attorneys and legal professionals fighting for your rights. Our attorneys have a long and proven record of helping the victims of car accidents get the compensation they deserve.
Call us today if you or a loved one were injured in
- Commercial bus crashes
- School bus accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Truck crashes
- Motorcycle collisions
- Commercial vehicle accidents
- Semi-truck crashes
We’ll fight insurance companies, negligent operators, and reckless drivers to get you the maximum compensation you deserve.