Learning to drive and getting a license is a powerful rite of passage for many California teenagers. Unfortunately, it's also one of the most dangerous things they'll ever do.
Research shows that the risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident is higher among teens aged 16 to 19 than it is for drivers in any other age group. In fact, per mile driven, teen motorists are three times more likely to be in a fatal crash than drivers age 20 or older—and more often than not, inexperience is to blame. Sadly, teen drivers' lack of experience and propensity for causing accidents endangers everyone on the road.
If you were hurt or lost a loved one in a crash caused by a negligent teenage motorist, you may be entitled to compensation for related medical expenses and other losses. Here's what you should know before taking legal action.
Teen Driving Statistics
- Half of all teens will be involved in a car accident before graduating from high school, according to the National Safety Council (NSC)
- More than 2,300 teens aged 16 to 19 were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2017 alone, while an additional 300,000 received emergency treatment for injuries
- In 2017, six teenagers died in car accidents every single day in the United States
- The motor vehicle death rate for male drivers aged 16 to 19 is more than two times higher than the death rate for female motorists in the same age group
- Risk of being involved in an accident is highest in the first few months they're licensed
Common Causes of Teen Driving Accidents
Teen crashes can have any number of causes. However, most can be boiled down to underlying factors like immaturity, inexperience, distractions and limited driving skills. For example, teenage motorists often have trouble scanning the road and detecting and responding to hazards in a timely manner, correctly judging gaps in traffic, turning safely, and driving appropriately in inclement weather conditions. Other common causes of teen car accidents include:
- Distracted driving. Dangerous distractions can come from inside or outside the vehicle, and texting or surfing on smartphones aren't the only things you should be worried about. Changing the music on the radio, eating or drinking, brushing hair or applying makeup, and interacting with passengers can be equally hazardous.
- Reckless driving. Teens are more likely to speed, disobey traffic signage and lighting, and engage in illegal racing than other age groups.
- Alcohol and drug use. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be dangerous for any driver, but particularly so for teenage motorists who lack years of experience on the road.
- Lack of restraint use. Seat belt use among teens aged 16 to 19 is the lowest of any age group. In 2017, nearly 50 percent of teenage drivers killed in car crashes were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.
- Drowsy driving. In some cases, driving while fatigued can be just as impairing as driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Let Us Help You Seek Compensation for Damages Sustained in a Crash Caused by a Teenage Driver
Hurt in a left-turn, rear-end, run-off-road, or other accident caused by a negligent teen driver and facing serious losses as a result? The injury recovery professionals with the Inland Empire Law Group can help you seek compensation for a wide variety of damages, including related medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning potential, and pain and suffering. In our many years of practice, our skilled attorneys have helped thousands of clients in situations similar to yours collect the full and fair financial recovery you need and deserve after being injured due to someone else's carelessness. Want to find out how our accomplished legal team can help you? Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 or (909) 481-0100 to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation.