Leading Causes of Teenage Car Accidents
Teen drivers often lack the experience necessary to operate safely on our busy streets and highways. What’s worse is that many of these inexperienced teenage drivers regularly use their cell phones and multitask while driving. What is most alarming is the growing number of teens who don’t appreciate the dangers of driving while under the influence of marijuana.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident caused by a teen driver, call a Miami car accident lawyer from The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked today at (305) 694-2676, chat us online, or fill the form to your right and an attorney will call you immediately for a free consultation.
Top Teenage Driving Risks in Miami, Florida
There are eight major factors that contribute to car accidents involving teenagers:
1. Texting and Driving
Texting while driving has been and will continue to be a major epidemic. Teen drivers up to the age of 25 admit to sending text messages while driving more so than any other age group. Texting and driving serves as a triple threat to drivers as it:
- Removes the driver’s attention from driving
- Removes at least one of the driver’s hands from the wheel; and,
- Removes the driver’s eyes off the road
Many states have enacted legislation making texting while driving a traffic a citable offense, but the problem persists. Some states like Florida, categorize texting and driving as a secondary offense—meaning that the driver can only be cited for texting if they were stopped for another traffic offense like speeding or running a red light.
2. Taking Selfies While Driving
If you’re not in the know, a selfie is simply photograph taken of oneself. Selfies are most often taken on cell phones and sent to friends via text messages and shared through social media like Snapchat and Instagram. The problem is that teenagers have a habit of taking selfies while driving. This dangerous habit poses the same triple threat to drivers that text messaging while driving does.
3. Using Social Media While Driving
Teens are avid users of both the Snapchat and Instagram social media platforms. Both platforms allow teens to capture, view, and send images and short videos. Like taking selfies and texting, Snapchatting and Instagramming can lead to distracted driving—posing a triple threat. If you scroll through the average American teenager’s Snapchat or Instagram account, you will likely find dozens of Snaps and Instagram posts taken from behind the wheel.
4. Teenage Drunk Driving
Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a leading cause of car accidents today. Alcohol has devastating effects on the driving abilities of the most experienced drivers but is even worse when consumed by teens who have barely any driving experience at all. Unfortunately, many teenagers are not mature enough to appreciate the dangers of drinking and driving. Drunk driving accidents involving teenagers are often the most devastating and are a leading cause of teenage driving fatalities.
5. Drugged Driving
Driving while under the influence of marijuana is common practice for many high-school aged teenagers in the United States. Large numbers of teens believe that driving while high is nowhere near as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol. Moreover, these teens believe that they can get away with driving while high because it is more difficult for law enforcement to detect. According to a survey conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), 33 percent of teens believe that driving high is legal in states where marijuana has been legalized for recreational use. This cannot be further from the truth.
Marijuana, especially large quantities, greatly impair driving abilities by increasing reaction times. The negative effects of marijuana are amplified when combined with alcohol, which is very common among teenagers.
6. Teenage Driving Experience
Most teenagers begin driving at the age of 16 years old with little to no practical experience behind the wheel. The field driving exam in most states is very easy while setting an extremely low bar to obtain a driver’s license. Although some states have implemented graduated driving license programs, the requirements and driving tests just aren’t tough enough to curb the large number of crashes involving teenage drivers.
It takes tens of thousands of miles behind the wheel before driving becomes second nature. According to the Federal Highway Administration, teenagers between the 16 and 19 years of age average 7,624 driving miles each year.
Teens often crash into other vehicles during their first few months as new drivers. In fact, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for 15 to 18-year-old teenagers in the United States. It takes several years for teenagers to drive enough miles to become experienced drivers who do not pose as great a risk. Simply put, driving experience takes time behind the wheel.
7. Driving with Teen Passengers
The dangers of driving with friends are far greater than driving alone. According to the to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) teen drivers are 2.5 times more likely to resort to dangerous driving behaviors with friends than when driving alone.
Many states prohibit young drivers from carrying multiple passengers for this reason. Certain states like Maryland do not allow new teenage drivers to carry passengers under the age of 18 for the first 5 months driving. Florida has no restrictions on the number of passengers or the age of passengers a new driver may carry.
8. Teenage Reckless Driving
Many teens like to drive fast and loose. Teenagers drive more recklessly as their confidence as drivers increases. Unfortunately, this has devastating effects on teenage drivers and everyone else on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding contributed to 31% of teen driving fatalities in 2016.
Miami Teen Car Accident Lawyer Prosper Shaked Can Help
If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries as the result of a car accident with a teen driver, you will need an experienced personal injury attorney to guide you through the process and help you obtain the compensation that you deserve. We thoroughly investigate each case to determine what caused the other driver to crash into you. Call us today for a free and confidential consultation at (305) 694-2676.