According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 2,000 people nationwide were killed in car accidents involving a teen driver in 2018. Teens themselves are often the victims in these cases, as the CDC reports that accidents are a leading cause of death among people between the ages of 15 and 19. However, people of all ages can be susceptible to the risky and dangerous behaviors of teen drivers. In fact, in recent years in Wisconsin, over 15 percent of all traffic fatalities have come from crashes involving teen drivers. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a young driver, you may be entitled to compensation.
Common Risky Behaviors Among Teen Drivers
Some accidents happen simply because younger drivers are inexperienced and may be prone to error. In Wisconsin, all drivers, regardless of age, are held to the same standard and are responsible for all damages caused by their negligent acts. In accordance with Wisconsin’s sponsorship statutes, parents and/or sponsors of drivers under the age of 18 are jointly responsible, along with their teen driver, up to the first $300,000, for damages caused by the negligent acts of their teen. Some common behaviors involved in accidents with teen drivers include:
Distracted driving: Teenagers are often more likely to text and use their phones while driving, despite laws in many states aimed at preventing this behavior among teens specifically. Other teen passengers can also be a major source of distraction, and these passengers may encourage other risky driving behaviors as well.
Alcohol and other drugs: Although alcohol consumption is illegal among teens, they are still disproportionately represented in fatal crashes involving alcohol. Other commonly available drugs like marijuana can also significantly impact a teen’s driving abilities and increase the risk of accidents.
Drowsy driving: Teens are often on the road late at night, which can be dangerous not only because of the lower visibility, but also because of the likelihood of driver fatigue. This can slow a driver’s reaction time and impair alertness, and it can be especially dangerous when a driver falls asleep at the wheel.
Speeding: Speeding is a frequent factor in fatal accidents involving teen drivers, especially among young males. Driving at excessive speeds makes it more difficult for drivers of any experience level to maintain control, and it can lead to more severe crashes.
Risky Behaviors: Teens may be more inclined than older adults to drive recklessly, such as racing, running stoplights, or taking curves too fast, as a way to “show off” to other drivers.
After an accident with a teen driver in which you have suffered an injury, it is important to determine whether any of these negligent behaviors contributed to the crash. When you hire an attorney as soon as possible, we can help you gather the evidence you need to make your case, including testimony from witnesses, photos and videos of the accident, police reports, recordings of 911 calls, and medical records related to the treatment of your injuries.
Contact a Green Bay Car Accident Attorney
At Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd., we want to help you obtain compensation for any injuries you, your teen child, or another loved one has suffered in a car accident caused by a negligent driver. Contact an Appleton personal injury lawyer today at 920-739-7366 to request a free consultation.