Teen drivers often overestimate their driving skills, underestimate the dangers of driving and cause accidents says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne.
We learn by doing and unfortunately driving is potentially a very dangerous thing to do. Teens learning to drive, if not properly educated, supervised and mature enough to handle it can cause car accidents that can result in serious injuries and deaths to themselves and others. Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne says the early years of driving are hazardous to all those on the road.
- A 14-year-old passenger was killed and two other teens were injured, including the 17 year old driver, in a crash on Florida’s Turnpike in southwest Miami-Dade last month, according to NBC6. The Florida Highway Patrol reports that the vehicle was traveling on Florida’s Turnpike Extension when the driver lost control and the vehicle traveled onto grass, the driver over corrected the steering, the vehicle slid on wet grass and struck a palm tree, spun and struck another palm tree.
- A teenage girl was killed and eight others were injured in a vehicle accident in Pinellas County in March reports WFLA. According to witnesses a Dodge sedan ran a red light and struck a pickup truck at an intersection in Clearwater. The car then burst into flames. Passengers in the car were pulled out but the 18 year old driver was trapped in the car. Police stated they believe alcohol played a role in the accident.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety/Highway Loss Data Institute reports that,
- Of all age groups teens drive less than all others except the oldest drivers, but the number of accidents and crash related deaths for teens are disproportionately high. The rates of overall crashes and crashes resulting in fatalities per mile driven for 16 to 17 year olds is about three times higher than the rates for drivers twenty and older.
- Sixteen year old drivers have the highest risk of accidents, about three times higher than those 18 and 19 years old. Teenagers’ crash and near-crash rates during the first 18 months after receiving licenses are almost four times the rates of adults.
- There are many reasons for teens’ bad driving but generally younger drivers are more likely to overestimate their driving abilities while underestimating the dangers of driving. Crash rates for young drivers are high mainly due to immaturity and driving inexperience. Immaturity shows itself through risky driving including speeding and their lack of experience makes it difficult for them to realize and respond to potential hazards.
- Accidents involving teen drivers have a high rate of alcohol involvement. In 2014 about 26% of fatally-injured drivers ages 16 to 19 tested positive for alcohol. Though young drivers are less likely than adults to drive after drinking alcohol, their crash risk is much higher if they do.
- The good news is that as bad as the situation is, it’s improving over time. The number of those aged 13 to 19 who were killed in vehicle accidents was 8,748 in 1975 but 2,623 in 2014, a decline of 70%. From 1996 to 2014 teen crash deaths declined by 55% (from 5,819 to 2,623).
If you have a teen driver in your family you need to educate them about the dangers of not driving responsibly and instill in them the importance of focusing on driving and avoiding drinking and driving.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a teen driver, contact Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne at (561) 293-2600 or fill out this online contact form. You can discuss your case, how the law may apply and your best legal options to protect your rights and obtain compensation for your injuries.