One of the rites of passage to becoming an adult is getting your driver’s license. For parents, it can be a frightening time, as they sit in the passenger seat, white-knuckled, while their teenager learns to safely operate the family car.
Parents have a right to worry. In the United States in 2014, 2,270 teenagers were killed in motor vehicle accidents. That means an average of six teens between the ages of 16 and 19 died each day from injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes.
Teens between the ages of 16 and 18 represent the highest risk group for being involved in a motor vehicle crash. Males in this age group are more than twice as likely to be in a crash than females.
Risk factors for teenage drivers include:
— Teens are more likely to speed than older drivers.
— Half of all teens killed in motor vehicle accidents occurred between the hours of 3 p.m. and midnight.
— Only 61 percent of high schoolers say they always wear a seat belt whenever someone else is driving.
— Seventeen percent of teen drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 that were involved in a fatal car crash had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent.
There are things that teens can do to prevent motor vehicle accidents. These include always wearing a seat belt, never drinking and driving and obeying speed limits.
If you or a family member have been injured in an accident with a teenage driver, you may be able to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more from the teen, his or her insurance company and/or his or her parents. Your attorney will be able to determine who is liable forsuch an accident.
Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Teen Drivers: Get the Facts,” accessed Dec. 16, 2016