Thompson Law Group, P.C.

Recklessness and distracted driving common for teens

Any driver in Pennsylvania can pose a risk to others on the road, but there is a general perception that teens who have just gotten their license are particularly dangerous. Statistics back this up. There are numerous factors that make teens more susceptible to being in a crash. A lack of experience in knowing how to handle various situations is a natural part of that. People who have been in a car accident should know that it is possible that a teen was involved. This can be an important part of a legal filing to be compensated.

The numbers from the Centers for Disease Control show that, per mile, those between the ages of 16 and 19 are in fatal accidents three times as frequently than drivers who are older than 20. When the statistics are broken down further, those 16 and 17 are in fatal accidents twice as often as those 18 to 19. Six teens are killed every day in a car accident. The research indicates why this can be the case. Distracted driving is a prominent problem as teens tend to be more easily distracted by their cellphones. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that teens are in 7 percent of fatal crashes, but they are driving in 9 percent of distracted driving accidents. AAA has conducted studies saying that the number of people who drive while distracted is underreported, so the numbers could be higher.

Every state has implemented a graduated driver's license program as to when they can drive alone and the number of underage passengers they can have in the vehicle with them. This is presented as a positive as the percentage of fatal accidents for 16 and 17-year-olds lowers by more than 60 percent if a person 35 or older is in the vehicle. When teens are driving with other teens in the vehicle, the likelihood of an accident was higher. If a teen had three passengers younger than 21 in the vehicle, they are four times as likely to be in a fatal crash than if they were alone.

These numbers and other problems that accompany a younger driver can be key factors when there is a car accident. The medical bills, missed time on the job, inability to function normally are all potential problems. It will be worse if there is a fatality. Those who have been injured in a car accident should be aware of all that accompanies it and the chance that a teen was involved when discussing a legal case with an experienced attorney.

Source:, "Road Warrior: The menace of teen drivers," Tom Shortell, Dec. 1, 2017

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