Teen Drivers and Accidents
We Californians love our cars. In this state, getting a license is not only vital for transportation to and from work or school, but it is also an expression of our freedom to enjoy all that this great state has to offer. That might include a day trip to the beach, or a drive to the mountains for some skiing. You might go on a drive to the desert, or a visit to some of the greatest historic sites our beautiful state has to offer.
For many parents, there is a great thrill in being able to provide our teenage sons or daughters with their first car. Unfortunately, that thrill is tempered by the knowledge that driving a car is a real danger for teenagers, and because of youth and inexperience, many teens are not ready to assume the tremendous responsibility that comes with driving on America’s roads and freeways.
Driving a car with such lack of experience can result in serious accidents that cause significant injuries. In fact, traffic accidents are one of the leading cause of death among teenagers in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researched teen driving fatalities, and found that for every mile driven, a teenage driver is far more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than a driver who is aged 20 or older. Why is this group of drivers more accident-prone? Usually, the reasons fall into one or more of the following general categories: inexperience, inattention, or intoxication.
Inexperience plays a large role in accidents involving teen drivers. As a group, they are more likely to make mistakes, such as:
- Following other drivers too closely
- Driving over the speed limit
- Underestimating dangerous situations
The vast majority of accidents involving teen drivers are a result of inattentive driving. Motorists under the age of 20 are generally:
- More easily distracted by passengers
- More likely to use a cellphone while driving
- More likely to forget to use a seat belt
While the CDC’s research shows underage drinking has been declining in recent years, fatal accidents with young drivers are often the result of driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of the two. For example:
- In 2012, 23% of drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal car accidents were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- A 2013 survey found that 22% of teen passengers reported riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.
There are thousands of traffic collisions each year in California, and many of them involve young drivers. Some of them are mere fender-benders; others have far more serious consequences. Regardless of the outcome, if you or someone you care about has been injured in a car accident, contact Jamal Injury Law for help as soon as possible. Personal injury attorney Suliman Jamal has handled accidents involving teenagers and understands how to properly evaluate liability in such cases. We can help you through every step of the process of recovering the compensation you deserve for the injuries you sustained and the damages to your property. Call us today at 714-907-1021 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.