Teen drivers are among the riskiest drivers on the road and car accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Seven teens aged 16 to 19 die every day from motor vehicle injuries. Per mile driven, teen drivers are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.
Teen drivers are more likely than older drivers to underestimate dangerous situations or to not recognize hazardous driving situations leading to accidents.
If you or someone you care about has been hurt in a crash that was caused by a teen driver, you may be eligible to obtain compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and more. It’s important to talk to a personal injury attorney to understand your legal rights before you talk to the at-fault driver’s insurance company or sign any document they present.
Learn more by contacting Becker Law Office. We serve clients in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and Tennessee. We can review your case in a free and confidential consultation.
Why Do Teen Drivers Cause Crashes?
The high rate of crashes among teen drivers is caused primarily by their lack of maturity and driving experience coupled with overconfidence and risk-taking, the NHTSA says.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says teen drivers are 50 percent more likely to crash in the first month of having a license than they are after a full year of experience. Further, 57 percent of crashes in which a teen was partially responsible involved three common mistakes — failure to reduce speed, inattention, and failure to yield.
One type of reckless behavior prevalent among teenage drivers is distracted driving. A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that teen drivers were distracted almost 25 percent of the time they were behind the wheel. The use of electronic devices for texting, sending email, and downloading and/or playing music diverts teenage drivers attention away from the road, causing distracted driving accidents.
Teen drivers are particularly susceptible to distractions caused by other passengers in the vehicle, according to the NHTSA. More teenage fatal crashes occur when passengers, usually other teenagers, are in the car than do crashes involving other drivers. Two out of three teens who die as vehicle passengers are in vehicles driven by other teenagers.
Teen drivers also tend to engage in:
- For drivers involved in fatal crashes, young males are the most likely to be speeding, according to the NHTSA.
- Drinking and driving. Among drivers involved in drunk driving (.08 or higher BAC) fatalities, 18 percent in a given year were age 16 to 20, according to the NHTSA. The legal age for drinking in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, and all other U.S. states is 21.
- Drowsy driving. The National Sleep Foundation says sleep deprivation has reached epidemic proportions among American teens and young adults, and that 15 percent of drivers in 10th to 12th grades say they drive drowsy at least once a week.
Compensation for Your Losses in a Teen Distracted Driving Accident
Teen drivers are required to be insured. If you have been harmed by a young driver, you have the right to pursue compensation through auto liability insurance, which may be in the teen’s name or their parent’s name. This may include money for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
If the teenage driver consumed alcohol prior to the crash, other parties may be liable. Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and Tennessee all hold establishments that sell alcohol responsible if they provide alcohol to an underage patron who later gets into a car accident. Indiana extends this liability to “social hosts” who allow minors to drink at parties or other gatherings.
These “third parties” can be held liable for your losses in an accident and compelled to compensate you through their business liability insurance or, in the case of a social host, homeowners’ insurance.
How Our Lawyers Investigate Teen Driving Accidents
Becker Law Office would seek to obtain all available compensation for you after a car accident caused by a teenage driver. Our investigation would consist of compiling a variety of evidence to determine who should be held accountable for your losses, including:
- Police reports
- Guilty pleas or judgments
- Accident scene evidence
- Eyewitness accounts
- Debit or credit card records
- Cell phone records
- Social media postings
Once our team has built a case on solid evidence, your Becker Law Office attorney would negotiate from a position of strength to obtain an appropriate settlement from the insurance company (or companies) representing the at-fault driver.
Contact a Lawyer About Your Teen Driving Accident
Teen drivers can and should be held accountable when they cause car accidents and injuries through negligent or reckless behavior. To preserve evidence that shows the cause of your accident, it is crucial to start investigating without delay. Please contact Becker Law Office for a free legal consultation if you have been injured in a car crash caused by a teenage driver.