Teen Driver Motor Vehicle Accidents
Driving involves the coordination of hands, eyes, and vision. But it also requires reflexes based on muscle memory. And anything that distracts your vision or thoughts from the road can cause a wreck. Above all, grabbing phones or pressing and turning radio dials is bad. It can cause you to remove one or both hands off the steering wheel. And that is a bad idea for adults and American teens.
Teens Account for the Majority of all Car Accident Deaths.
Most teens don't die from drugs, suicide, gangs, or shootings. NHTSA statistics show car accidents cause most teen fatalities ages 15-20, or one-third of car crash deaths. (Source). .
Many teens die in speeding cars, or from street racing. Most accidents take place after teens become distracted by friends. But the radio or CD player is also a culprit. Text messages and mobile cell phone calls are big distractions.
Making matters worse, youngsters can be in an upheaval. Many want their freedom. But they are also reliant on the security of their parents. So they have little life experience. Because of this, these young men and women may fail to drive safely. And this is despite taking basic driver training and education.
Some Road Accident Avoidance Requires Life Experience.
Sure, teen car drivers pass a test to obtain a license to drive. But driving good takes a lot. A permit and ultimately, a driver's license is part of it. Unfortunately, some things can't be taught in a class. Some things must become experienced first hand.
It will require a lot of hands-on experience. Developing driver skills is critical to accident avoidance.
And some immature drivers do bad things. Despite their youth, they are accountable to others hurt on the roads.
Ehline Has Won Industry Accolades as a Top Distracted Driving Lawyer.
Our lead attorney has won industry-wide recognition from peers and clients alike. And he is ready to put that experience and winning formula to work for minors and adults. Also, we do so in a wide variety of teen driving incidents.
Call, or keep on reading to learn the ropes. Learn about the unique problems attributed to teen driving calamities. The toll-free number is (888) 400-9721.
The Top Distractions Causing Teen Driving Accidents.
Teens can think they will live forever. They may try and impress their companions and peers with feats of strength and skill. Some teens are still in their rebellious stage.
And no one, even the police, is going to tell them what to do. That is the reality. Other times, they are aloof and don’t have enough real-world experience. Many don't grasp the fragility of life.
And personal responsibility is something they are only learning. So they don't take safe driving as seriously as a mature, working adult. Of course, many live at home with mom and dad.
These are young men and women spreading their wings. But teens are accustomed to texting and chatting on their handhelds all the time. So the urge to respond or call someone back can be a sensory overload. Also, driving and phones are unsafe even if in hands-free mode.
Texting and Driving Is a Major Cause of Teen Driver Distraction.
Distracted driving accidents cause many accidents in the U.S. Besides overcrowding their cars and acting cool, texting has become a real problem. For less experienced drivers, all these distractions make safe driving even harder.
Although the chances are that your kid is a better texter than you, it is a trade-off. After all, you can drive better.
New Legal Theories - Suing Teens for Texting and Driving.
All the humor aside, teens, texting, and driving is a problem at a national level. Increases in the popularity of "smartphones" have only made matters worse. So then we are facing multiple parties conversing and driving.
But we are also seeing a massive increase in teens answering and reading texts, emails, and Snapchats. All this time, these youngsters are operating motor vehicles.
So we have an increased risk of deadly cell phone car wrecks on highways. And despite legislation and public education, these accidents are only rising.
New Theory of Liability?
In one New Jersey teen driving accident, text messaging was involved. In that case, the plaintiff brought a lawsuit against the teenage driver. But he also sued the land-based girlfriend, who was the other text messenger.
In that case, the plaintiff then argued the other texter knew the teen was driving. A debate ensued back then whether she was responsible for the decedent's distraction.
We are also seeing examples of plaintiffs suing the person sending the text message since they knew or should have known the driver was reading the texts instead of watching the road. And this is only one example of how plaintiffs are becoming creative. That way, they get the most leverage if seeking money damages.
Teen Vehicle Crash Statistics.
These types of accidents are the primary cause of death for U.S. citizens eight to 34 years old. The NHTSA says one distracted while driving death happens every 12 to 15 minutes. And the collateral damage injures at least 2.5 million each year.
Most of all, crashes are the leading cause of death in the US for teens. Car crashes cause close to 36% of all teen deaths. Each year at least 5,000 teenagers aged 15-19 die. (See CDC Website).
This age group is at a higher risk than any other age group of drivers. And for each mile driven, teens between 16 to 19 are four times more likely to crash. In the United States, teens equal about 10 percent of the population. Male and female drivers below 24 cause close to 30% of all accidents.
Common Distractions that Teens, In Particular, Should Avoid if Driving:
- Drivers, including teenagers, should avoid eating and driving. Only one hand is on the steering wheel. So it is dangerous.
- Don't play the radio loud. That creates a distraction and blocks hearing warnings. So now you cannot detect vehicle horns or sirens from emergency vehicles.
- Stay off cell phones if driving. Turn the phone off until you reach your destination.
- Refuse to text and drive or read text messages.
- Don't pick something up that falls on the seat or floor if driving. Wait until the vehicle is idle.
- Keep both hands on the steering wheel and don't take your eyes off of the road.
- New drivers should avoid transporting vehicle passengers. Since this may cause a distraction, it is unwise.
- Stop adjusting the radio, heater, air conditioning, and mirrors if driving.
Supervening, intervening causes of these wrecks can come into play. These include defective car parts. And they involve roadways in need of repair. But I am failing to perceive these threats or to take evasive action in negligence.
For example, teen drivers can lose control and hit a power pole or a tree after skidding on-road debris. But this is something an experienced driver would avoid. Many teen distraction cases see vehicles colliding with animals and pedestrians.
Driving Tips for Teenagers.
The first year a teenager drives a car is when they are likely to be in a crash.
And here are some tips to help young drivers avoid a crash and drive safer:
- Drivers and passengers should wear seatbelts. It is the law. Also, it is a way to reduce injuries in a collision.
- Refuse to allow extra passengers in the vehicle if they exceed the number of seatbelts.
- Make sure the windshield is clean both during daytime driving and night driving. Reflections from the sun or headlights on a dirty windshield can result in momentary blindness.
- During daytime, driving, wear sunglasses to avoid being blinded by the sun.
- Wear prescription glasses or contacts.
- At intersections before going on a green light, make sure it is clear of vehicles before proceeding.
- Come to a complete stop at stop signs and lights before proceeding to ensure it is safe.
- Use turn signals if turning or changing lanes. Do so early enough to warn other drivers of the planned maneuver.
- Obey speed limits. Remember that the higher the speed, the less time there will be to react or stop. Your speed rate is one of the most significant factors in teenage driver accidents.
- Respect the other drivers on the road. Don't drive like you are the only vehicle on the road.
- Refuse to drive and take drugs. Even if they are over the counter medicines, many pharmaceuticals cause drowsiness.
- Don't drink alcohol and drive. It illegal to operate a motor vehicle if drinking. And it can inhibit proper reaction time. At no time should you ride with anyone who has been drinking? Instead, take a taxi or bus. Maybe call your parents for a ride?
- Forget about driving with an empty gas tank. If so, it could stall in traffic and damage parts. Gas lines and motor can get fouled.
- Ensure the headrest of the seat is adjusted correctly behind your head. A headrest behind your neck can cause whiplash if you crash.
- Keep your eyes off of the roadway. It is only a matter of seconds to death. This lessened time to react is due to shortened stopping distance from speed.
Foolish Mistakes Teens Make that Increase Risks of Injury Post Car Accident.
The sad truth is many teenaged drivers and occupants don’t wear seatbelts. This remains foolish for two reasons: (1) You cannot collect full damages. (Source.)
Note that the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (Veh. Code, § 27315) applies only to persons 16 years or older. (Veh. Code, § 27315(d)(1).). No case law exists that people under 16 have fault for failing to wear a seatbelt.
(2) Occupants who don’t wear restraining devices make injuries worse. What could have been whiplash may now be a ruptured disc. Or it could cause lacerations and head injuries. And getting being launched through the windshield happens a lot. Everything becomes worse than it may have been.
Of course, the law mandates that negligent parties be held accountable. But failing to wear a seatbelt can severely limit their legal and financial liability.
Kids Won't Usually Admit it Was Their Fault.
Initially, the deponent may be afraid. Maybe his peers could find out what he said. Or he may fear punishment by his parents, since their assets may be at risk. Saying the wrong thing could separate him from the love of his family. Remember, these are kids. And they haven't been on their own yet.
A proven negotiator gets to the bottom of the accident. This will take some finessing. But Ehline has the skill to get to the truth of the matter. Most teenage driving accidents include a bond or insurance. Sometimes the coverage is expired. So that places the parent’s assets at risk.
In some cases, we have opened homeowners’ policies. Examples include people on foot getting run over. And we have had luck opening up commercial policies. Sometimes we bring in the city, county, or state as defendants.
No matter what, if insurance is involved, the other side will have trained help. Usually, your opponent will have expensive defense attorneys.
Other times they use dedicated house counsel. These pros will try and shift blame to someone, anyone. No attorney means no complete recovery.
What Other Parties May Liable for a Teen Driving Accident?
The harm caused can surpass the insurance coverage. In some cases, we file a claim against the parents or guardians.
It could be the case that the teen was on the clock at work for the parent. And the youth could be under the supervision of an instructor. Maybe the parent is in charge? Perhaps that instruction or guidance led to the accident? Our excellent lawyers will leave no stone unturned.
So we will look to identify every detail. Perhaps that could lead to other money for you. If the evidence shows it, we can sue the parents too. We make them pay up. As discussed earlier, other parties may have played a role. So many people can be jointly and severally liable to you for payments. We take steps to locate all appropriate parties as co-defendants.
Don’t be a Dupe. Hire a Lawyer That Does Cases Like this for a Living.
Refuse to waste your valuable time. And hire the one that files these lawsuits all the time. Make sure Ehline Law Firm is the one you hire. And we have the financial resources to take on a case like yours. And we can do so from insurance claim to verdict. So if you suffered a teenage driving mishap, we are here to help.
We will give you a free, private consultation right over the phone. Also, we give you hope. With adverse changes in your life, it gets better with us at your side. Injured Greater Los Angeles accident victims should call us at (213) 596-9642. Let us help you.