Teen Car Accidents
Car accidents occur more often than they should in Cleveland, and throughout the country. A disproportionately high number of collisions involve teen drivers due to a host of factors, including inexperience behind the wheel, texting, and other distractions. The risk of a collision involving a driver between the ages of 16 and 19 is higher than any other age group. This is according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
It is important for parents and guardians to understand the risks of teen driving and motor vehicle accidents. It is essential to call me if you’ve been injured in a collision with a teen driver or if your teenager was harmed in an accident with another motorist.
I’ve had the privilege of representing car accident victims in Ohio for more than 40 years, and I can help you and your family obtain financial compensation for injuries sustained in an accident. In the meantime, you can learn more about teen car accidents and what parents can do to prevent collisions, below.
Getting the Facts About Teen Car Accidents
How often do teen car accidents occur? What behaviors make teen driving particularly risky? The following information includes significant facts and figures from the CDC, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the National Safety Council (NSC):
Nearly 2,400 teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 were killed in motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. in 2017;
Roughly 300,000 teens require treatment in an emergency department each year for injuries in a car crash;
About 19 teens die in car accidents every day on average;
While teens between the ages of 16-19 represent only about 6.5% of the U.S. population, they account for 8% of all motor vehicle injury costs, totaling more than $13 billion annually;
Male teen drivers are at two times greater risk of a fatal collision than are female teen drivers;
When teens drive in cars with teenage passengers, the accident risk increases; and
Teens who have had a driver’s license for under a year are at greater risk of being involved in a serious or fatal collision.
Causes of Teen Accidents
Inadequate Weather Preparedness
Teenage drivers are often ill-prepared for adverse weather conditions, leading to auto accidents caused by their lack of experience and judgment. These accidents frequently occur during inclement weather, such as heavy rain, snow, or fog. In their immaturity, newly licensed drivers may underestimate the hazards associated with slippery roads and reduced visibility, leading to collisions. The injuries can range from minor scrapes and bruises to more severe consequences such as broken bones or head trauma. It is essential for young drivers to receive proper education on handling adverse weather conditions, to mitigate the risks associated with their inexperience.
Peer distractions are a common cause of motor vehicle accidents among teenage drivers. These accidents often involve a group of young friends in the car, engaging in conversation, laughter, or even horseplay while driving. The immaturity of these newly licensed drivers may lead them to prioritize socializing over safe driving practices. Such distractions can result in serious accidents, causing injuries that may range from whiplash and concussions to fatal accidents. It is crucial for teenagers to recognize the importance of staying focused on the road, and resisting peer pressure to engage in distracting behavior while driving.
Texting While Driving
Texting while driving is a dangerous behavior among teenage drivers that often leads to motor vehicle accidents. This perilous habit involves the use of mobile phones for texting or browsing social media while operating a vehicle. As inexperienced young drivers, it makes them prone to underestimate the risks associated with texting, and the cause of severe accidents. Injuries from such accidents can vary from minor bruises to life-altering conditions, including paralysis or death. It is imperative to educate young drivers about the grave consequences of texting while driving, and instill responsible smartphone use when behind the wheel.
Reckless Lane Changes
Teenage drivers occasionally engage in reckless lane changes without proper signaling or checking their blind spots. This is a major cause of auto accidents. These accidents can result in injuries ranging from minor contusions to more severe outcomes, such spinal injuries or multiple fractures. The lack of experience of these newly licensed drivers may lead to impulsive decisions, the disregard for the safety of themselves and others. Promoting responsible lane-changing practices and defensive driving techniques is crucial to reduce such heart-wrenching accidents.
Fatigue-related accidents are a significant concern among teenage drivers. These accidents often occur when young drivers underestimate the effects of sleep deprivation or drowsiness while behind the wheel. Injuries resulting from such accidents can range from minor cuts and bruises to more serious outcomes such as head-on collisions and fatalities. The immaturity of teenage drivers may lead to ignoring the warning signs of fatigue. Educating young drivers on the importance of adequate rest and recognizing signs of fatigue can help avert these tragic motor vehicle crashes.
Impaired Driving (Drugs)
Impaired driving due to drug use is another major cause of teen car accidents. Some teenage drivers may experiment with drugs and then make the ill-advised choice to drive under the influence. This behavior can result in accidents with injuries that may include broken bones, head trauma, or fatalities. Young drivers underestimate impairment caused by drugs. Drugs also affect their ability to make sound judgments on the road. Comprehensive education on the dangers of impaired driving, and the potential consequences of impaired driving, is essential to curb accidents among teenage drivers.
Many young drivers approach the road with a feeling of invincibility, which can place them in dangerous situations. This sense of freedom often leads to speeding, distracted driving, reckless decisions, and unfortunate accidents. If you or your child has been involved in a car accident, call me as soon as possible to discuss your claim, free of charge.
When bringing a car accident lawsuit against a teen driver, several damages may be sought to compensate for or your losses. These awards are intended to help you recover from the physical, emotional, and financial impact of the accident. Below is a list of damages that may be awarded:
Medical expenses are damages intended to cover the costs associated with the treatment of injuries sustained in the car crash. This may include hospital bills, doctor’s fees, surgery costs, medication expenses, and rehabilitation fees. Financial awards for medical expenses helps you access the necessary care and treatment needed for recovery. This is especially true in cases of severe injuries resulting from single vehicle crashes, or accidents with a high crash risk.
Pain and Suffering
Damages for pain and suffering compensate the victim for the physical and emotional distress caused by the accident and resulting injuries. It acknowledges the pain, trauma, and emotional suffering you have endured. This compensation provides some measure of relief, and helps with the healing process, particularly in cases involving highway safety or severe accidents.
Property damage awards cover the repair or replacement costs of the damaged vehicle and any personal property inside the vehicle at the time of the accident. This compensation helps to recover the losses related to your damaged property, ensuring the vehicle and personal property return to their pre-accident state.
Lost Income and Future Earnings
Lost income and future earnings compensation refers to the wages or income you may have lost for missed work due to the car accident, and any potential future earnings that may be affected by the injuries. This award helps to maintain financial stability while recovering from your injuries, especially if you are unable to work due to the accident.
Wrongful Death Damages
In fatal car accident cases, wrongful death damages may be sought by the surviving family members of the deceased victim. Compensation for funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and financial support the deceased would have provided. Financial awards help the family cope with the emotional and financial burdens resulting from the tragic loss of a loved one, particularly in cases involving drunk driving.
Rehabilitation and Therapy Costs
After a car accident, rehabilitation and therapy may be necessary. There are expenses associated with physical therapy, occupational therapy, or other forms of rehabilitation required to recover from injuries sustained in the car accident. Monetary awards help to cover specialized treatment and therapies aimed at restoring your quality of life, and to ensure you can access the necessary resources to aid in your recovery process.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium damages are often sought by the spouse or family members of the injured party. These damages compensate for the loss of companionship, care, and support that the injured individual can no longer provide due to their injuries. This loss can have a profound impact on the emotional well-being and quality of life of the family members. Monetary compensation for loss of consortium helps address the intangible yet significant losses experienced by those close to the injured person, providing some financial relief during a difficult time.
Suing for damages after a car accident involving a teen driver is essential to ensure the injured party receives the necessary support for recovery. These damages address various physical, emotional, and financial challenges that may arise from the accident..
Accidents involving teen drivers can be devastating, and are difficult on the whole family. While you or your loved one is recovering from the accident, I will take care of the legalities, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Statute of Limitations in a Teen Car Accident Claim
If you are injured in a traffic collision involving a teen driver, how much time do you have to file a lawsuit? Whether the teen driver or another motorist was at fault, most car accident claims must be filed within two years from the date of the collision under Ohio law (Ohio Rev. Code Section 2305.10). This clock is known as the statute of limitations, and it begins to tick on the date of the accident or injury.
If an injured party waits too long to file a claim, the clock runs out and the accident claim will become a time-barred lawsuit under Ohio law. Once a claim is time-barred, it is often impossible to file a lawsuit to seek financial compensation.
Contact Tim Misny to File a Claim Today
If you were injured in an accident caused by a teen driver, or if your teenage driver was injured in a collision, call me me to learn more about your legal options and how I can help you Make Them Pay!®
Fatal Car Accidents
Fatal teen car accidents are deeply troubling and heartbreaking for far too many families and communities. These tragic incidents involve young drivers, ages 16 to 19, and result in motor vehicle crash deaths.. It is essential to approach this topic with empathy and concern for the safety and well-being of these young individuals.
One significant factor contributing to fatal crashes involving teenage drivers is drinking alcohol. Male drivers (female drivers too) in particular, make the unfortunate choice to drink and drive, leading to devastating consequences. Passenger vehicle occupants are often seriously injured and killed, including the intoxicated drivers and innocent victims. The fatal crash rate among young drivers is a painful reminder of the dangers of impaired driving.
In these tragic circumstances, those who were involved in fatal crashes leave behind grieving families, friends, and communities. Motor vehicle crash deaths is a harsh reality that underscores the need for comprehensive education and awareness programs. It is crucial to instill responsible behaviors in young drivers, such as never drinking and driving, to reduce the incidence of fatal teen car accidents.
These accidents serve as a stark reminder of the importance of safe driving practices for all young drivers, as well as the need for support and guidance from parents, mentors, and the community at large. Together, we can work towards preventing these devastating fatalities to ensure a safer future for our young drivers.