Summer is here, and this means teenagers in the Austin are will be driving to their summer jobs, to area lakes and rivers and to parties. However, teens do not have the same experience behind the wheel as older drivers. They may speed, drive drunk or use their cellphones while behind the wheel. This inexperience and recklessness can lead them to cause car accidents. In fact, the time period from Memorial Day through Labor Day is coined the “100 deadliest days,” by the AAA for fatal crashes caused by teen drivers.
There are several reasons why teen drivers can be dangerous drivers. Teens may be more prone to speeding. According to one AAA index, an estimated 50% of teen drivers reported speeding in a residential area within the past 30 days and an estimated 40% of teen drivers reported speeding on the freeway.
Drunk driving is another negligent behavior that could lead to a car crash caused by a teen driver. Even though it is illegal for teens to drink alcohol, AAA reports that one-sixth of teen drivers who were involved in a fatal accident in the summer had alcohol in their system.
Teens can also be distracted while behind the wheel. According to one AAA index, an estimated 52% of teens reported reading a text or email while behind the wheel and an estimated 40% of teens said the sent a text or email while behind the wheel. However, distracted driving can be hard to detect in the event of a motor vehicle accident, so these numbers may be higher than what is reported by the federal government. In fact, according to the AAA Foundation, distracted driving was a component in 58% of motor vehicle accidents involving a teen.
Teens, due to inexperience or a sense of invincibility, may be more prone to engage in dangerous driving behaviors, leading to fatal motor vehicle accidents. While summer may see an increase in such crashes caused by teen drivers, the reality is that a fatal accident caused by a teen driver can happen at any time of the year. Those in Texas who were injured or the families of those who were killed in a collision caused by a negligent teen driver this summer will want to explore their legal options for compensation.