If a teenage driver caused an accident that injured you, an auto accident lawyer District Heights MD provides may be able to help you collect damages. Teenage drivers are responsible for causing many auto accidents every year. An experienced personal injury lawyer from Cohen & Cohen may be able to help you fight for your rights and receive the maximum settlement. Victims of personal injuries caused by a negligent driver should be compensated for vehicle damage, medical costs, and possibly much more.
If you are in search of a District Heights MD auto accident lawyer, call our office at 301-250-1957 to schedule a time to speak with one of our attorneys at no cost to you. Our initial consultation is always free, and if we don’t negotiate a settlement or win your case in court, you won’t have to pay.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a teen driver you may wonder how it could have happened, or how it could have be avoided. Here is some information on the dangerous behaviors that teen drivers sometimes engage in that can lead to accidents.
The Danger of Teen Drivers
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in 2013, an average of six teens between the ages of 16 and 19 died every day in auto accidents. Though people between the ages of 15 and 24 represent only 14 percent of the US population, males in that group are responsible for 30 percent of the total costs of auto accident injuries. Females are responsible for 28 percent. An auto accident lawyer District Heights MD personal injury victims turn to may be able to negotiate a settlement on your behalf regardless of the age of the other driver.
The CDC also reports that drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are almost three times more likely to cause a crash resulting in death, compared to drivers who are at least 20 years old. In the 16 to 19 age group, those most at risk for causing auto accidents are:
- Male drivers. They are almost twice as likely to cause crashes than females.
- Teen drivers who have teen passengers. The danger of being involved in an accident increases proportionately to the number of teen passengers in the vehicle.
- New drivers. During the first months of having a driver’s license the teen driver is at increased risk of causing an auto accident.
Distracted Driving Due to Texting
More than 3,000 Americans died in 2012 in auto accidents caused by distracted drivers. A study by the National Highway Traffic Security Administration concluded that at least 71 percent of young drivers admitted to writing or sending text messages while driving. Seventy-eight percent of young drivers have read a text message while driving. An auto accident lawyer District Heights MD drivers choose may be able to prove the driver was texting by examining phone records.
Despite the alarming statistics and public service campaigns against texting and driving, it remains a serious problem. A study by the Pew Research Center determined that one in three teenagers sends more than a hundred text messages every day. The CDC reports that 41 percent of teenage drivers in the US have emailed or texted while driving. Fifty-six percent of teenage drivers admit to talking on their cell phone while driving.
State and local law enforcement should enforce zero tolerance for teen drivers who text or use their cell phone when driving. Banning hands-free devices is another consideration, as any cell phone use can be distracting. An auto accident lawyer in District Heights MD may be able to prove that the teen driver was negligent because he or she was concentrating on their phone rather than driving.
Scientists have determined that teenagers are still developing, not just physically, but mentally. Because their frontal lobes have not yet connected with the rest of their brain, teenage brains’ nerve cells work slower than adults when it comes to thought processes. When driving, they may not anticipate problems far enough in advance to avoid them. They may not think about what could happen if they drive recklessly or allow themselves to be distracted while behind the wheel.
Expand the use of graduated driver licensing programs, which have proven to reduce crashes that result in injuries (by 40 percent) and fatalities (by 38 percent) of teen drivers. These programs increase drivers’ practice time and sets limits for high risk driving conditions, and they also require parents of teen drivers to participate in their child’s driving education.
Driving While Under the Influence
Though drinking while driving or under the influence of alcohol has decreased dramatically, it is still a cause of concern. The CDC released a study that stated in 2011, 10.3 percent of high school drivers admitted to driving while under the influence. If the teen driver has been cited in the past for underage drinking, an auto accident lawyer District Heights MD provides may be able to establish the teenager’s drinking problem contributed to the accident.
Law enforcement should enforce legal drinking age laws with a zero tolerance policy for blood alcohol for any driver under the age of 21.
Driving Too Fast
The number of teen drivers who die in accidents as a result of excessive speed is on the increase. Drivers aged 16 or older who had at least three passengers accounted for 33 percent of all fatal teen accidents in 2011 due to speeding. An auto accident lawyer District Heights MD accident victims turn to may use the police report, witness accounts, and accident scene investigation results to help determine if a teen driver caused the accident by speeding.
There are several methods that may help reduce accidents caused by teenagers who speed:
- Parents should not give their teenager a vehicle until they can consistently demonstrate safe driving habits in the presence of a parent.
- State and local law enforcement should enforce speed limits either by officers on patrol, using automated enforcement, or both. An auto accident lawyer District Heights MD clients rate highly may argue that the driver’s record of speeding tickets shows habitual negligence.
- Before purchasing a vehicle for their teenage child, parents should enroll them in a driver’s safety course.
Though not every teenaged driver is a greater risk on the road, accident statistics show that they can be a danger to themselves and to other drivers. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a young driver, you deserve to be compensated for your damages. When you need to consult with an auto accident lawyer District Heights MD is proud to call their own, call Cohen & Cohen at 301-250-1957 to make an appointment for a free initial consultation.