Getting a driver’s license is a rite of passage for many teenagers in Huntsville, Alabama. New drivers often feel excited about what their sudden independence will bring. Their parents, meanwhile, may experience a mixture of pride and worry when their teenager passes the driving test. Motorists who share the road with young drivers also have reasons to worry.
A lack of experience behind the wheel can cause devastating accidents. If you have sustained injuries in an accident caused by an inexperienced driver, you may be entitled to compensation for what you’ve lost. The seasoned Huntsville car accident attorneys at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., are prepared to fight for what you deserve. Call us today or contact us online for a free case review to discuss your legal options.
Why Are Young People Assumed to Be Bad Drivers?
Many people assume that teenagers are worse at driving than their adult counterparts – an assumption borne out by the numbers. AAA found that drivers aged 16-17 are 4.5 times more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers aged 30-59.
There are several reasons for this elevated risk, including:
- Lack of practice – Even after a young person has fulfilled the legal requirements to acquire their driver’s license, they still do not have many hours behind the wheel. Only in the months and years that follow will they begin to encounter the wide variety of tricky conditions and situations that present themselves on the road.
- Underdeveloped decision-making skills – During the time a teenager spent practicing for their driving test, an experienced adult was in the vehicle. With nobody to warn them of dangers or correct their mistakes, newly independent motorists can easily make poor decisions that lead to devastating outcomes.
- Immaturity – The human brain isn’t fully developed until a person reaches 25 years old. Before that age, young people are more prone to distractions, impatience, and a desire to impress one another. When safety is not a teen driver’s priority, dangerous crashes become more likely.
Causes of Accidents Involving Inexperienced Drivers
As is the case with adult drivers, distractions are among the most common factors in teen driver collisions in Huntsville. Teenagers are particularly prone to distractions from their cell phones, motivated by their desire to keep up with online activity. They may also be more focused on conversations with their passengers than on the road.
Many adolescents have an overconfident attitude regarding many areas of life, including driving. Their overconfidence may give them a false sense of safety. They might also be unaware of the dangers of their reckless actions, such as speeding or failing to use turn signals.
Finally, their inexperience behind the wheel may lead to misjudgments, overcorrections, and a lack of confidence that can confuse other road users.
Teen Driver Accident Statistics
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), automobile accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. The statistics show that an average of eight teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19 die in crashes every day across the country. Per mile driven, drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 have a fatal crash rate that is about three times higher than that of motorists aged 20 or older.
Teens driving in the first few months after receiving their license have the highest statistical risk of being in an accident.
Why You Need Our Lawyers after a Crash with a Teen Driver
If you have suffered injuries in a traffic accident, you have the right to file a claim for compensation. This right applies regardless of the at-fault driver’s age.
Some people may feel reluctant to file a claim because they have sympathy for a young driver. However, the teenage driver most likely will not pay for your losses out of pocket. The compensation you seek will come from the driver’s insurance company. Car insurance is required by law for this very reason. You should not be on the hook for medical costs, lost wages, and other financial consequences when the collision was not your fault.
The insurance company may try to undervalue your claim, but the lawyers at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., are prepared to fight for the maximum compensation you deserve. Our firm has nearly 60 years of experience successfully representing injured people across Alabama, and we are ready to help you now.
How to Keep Your Teen Safe While Driving
As a parent, you know that it is impossible to guarantee your child’s safety at every moment. However, there are some steps you can take to ensure that each time your kid gets behind the wheel, they will be more likely to have an uneventful journey.
- Provide them with as many hours of supervised driving practice as possible in a variety of conditions.
- Ask them to refrain from having other young passengers in the car with them in the first six months after receiving their license. Alternatively, limit them to just one teen passenger.
- Ensure that your teen is not out driving past 10 p.m.
- Require your teen to wear a seatbelt every time they are in a car.
- Inform them of the grave dangers of driver distractions such as cell phones and eating.
- Learn your child’s schedule so that you can keep them off the road when they are likely to be drowsy.
- Be a good driving role model for them. Never drive under the influence, and inform them of the serious dangers of driving while intoxicated.
The CDC has a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement that can help you and your teenager feel confident that they will behave responsibly on the road.
Contact Our Huntsville Office to Speak with an Experienced Lawyer
If you have suffered injuries in an accident with a teen or inexperienced driver, the Huntsville personal injury attorneys at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., are ready to fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us today or contact us online for a free case review.