A Laredo car accident lawyer discusses the problem
Young drivers are less mature than other drivers, less experienced behind the wheel and are more likely to engage in risky behaviors on the road. So it’s not surprising that they are at a higher risk of causing car accidents that can leave people seriously injured. Sadly, in Texas many of these crashes are fatal.
An analysis conducted by ValuePenguin examined traffic data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reports System (FARS) from 2010 to 2019. It found that there were 4,278 accidents involving young drivers during this time period – more than any other state in the nation.
The drivers in these accidents were 15 to 20 years old and accounted for 14% of all fatal crashes during that time.
Teen drivers have restrictions in Texas
Teens in the state can apply for a provisional driver's license at age 16 that allows them to drive on their own. However, there are restrictions that apply until they graduate to an adult license at age 18.
For example, they can’t drive with more than one passenger under the age of 21, except for members of their family. They are barred from driving between midnight and 5 a.m., with certain exceptions for school and work. They also can’t drive while using any type of mobile device, even if it is hands-free.
Why are young drivers involved in so many fatal crashes? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), several factors play a role in crashes involving teens drivers:
- Distracted driving – Teens are more likely to text or talk on the phone while driving, which takes their attention off the road and reduces their ability to react to changing traffic conditions.
- Passengers – The NHTSA analyzed a study that found teen drivers were two-and-a-half times more likely to engage in risky driving behavior with a peer in the vehicle.
- Speeding – Multiple studies have found that a significant percentage of speeding-related crashes involve teen drivers.
- Drunk driving and drugs – Though there are strict laws in place, data shows 16% of teen drivers in fatal crashes in 2019 had been drinking.
- Seat belts – The use of seat belts is the lowest among teen drivers – in 2019, 45% of teen drivers who died in crashes weren’t wearing one.
- Drowsy driving – Teens often lead busy lives and don’t always get the amount of sleep that they need, and drivers aged 17-23 are at higher risk for a crash caused by drowsy driving.
The NHTSA notes that parents can play a big role in helping teens become safer drivers just by talking about good driving habits, demonstrating responsible driving, and setting ground rules.
Crash victims should know their legal options
A car crash can impact the lives of victims in many different ways. Many are left with serious injuries and have to battle insurance companies to cover their medical bills and other accident-related expenses. People who lost loved ones are left in mourning and are faced with funeral expenses.
If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident in the Laredo area, it’s important to get trusted legal advice as soon as you can.
John R. Solis, attorney at law, is an experienced personal injury lawyer who aggressively fights for the rights of his clients. He knows how to build strong cases that hold negligent parties accountable for their reckless actions.
Learn more about how our firm can help by contacting us to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Laredo car accident lawyer.