Teen Car Accidents
Maine car accident attorneys in Briggs & Wholey have handled personal injury cases across the state of Maine for nearly 30 years. We know that the rural roads stretching across the state present all kinds of unwanted surprises that may lead to injury, including accidents with teenage drivers. A teen's inexperience behind the wheel can lead to poor choices when faced with unexpected conditions on the road. At Briggs & Wholey, we have investigated and litigated hundreds of personal injury cases, and have experience dealing with the unique circumstances often involved in teen car accidents.Teen Drivers Are Dangerous
Sharing the road with teenagers is fraught with risk. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drivers aged 15-24 represent 14% of the U.S. population, yet account for nearly 30% of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries. The likelihood of a fatal crash for drivers aged 16-19 is tripled. Risk factors associated with teen drivers include the following:
- Teens do not appreciate dangerous or hazardous situations as well as older drivers;
- Teens are more likely to have a crash with any level of blood alcohol concentration than older drivers; and
- Teens are more likely to speed and tailgate.
Maine has a graduated driver license system that is designed for younger drivers to gain valuable driving experience under lower risk conditions. Age distinctions are made between new drivers who are under 18 years of age, drivers who are under 21 years of age, and drivers over 21. Drivers under 18 years of age can only be granted "Intermediate Licenses" and are not allowed to ride with passengers who are not immediate family members as defined in the statute, operate a vehicle between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m., or operate a car while using a mobile phone. All drivers with learner's permits must refrain from cell phone use, and drivers under 21 must hold their permit for 6 months before taking their license test.Distracted Driving is Common Among Teens
Research supports bans on cell phone use for new and young drivers. The highest incidence of distracted driving occurs in the under-20 age group. According to one study, one in three drivers aged 16-17 report that they have texted while driving. Half of the teens questioned said that they have talked on the cell phone while driving. The most disturbing fact from the report is that 40% of the teens interviewed reported that they had been in a car when someone used a cell phone while driving in a way that put themselves or others in danger.
Driving while using a cell phone has been shown to reduce the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%. A distracted brain functions poorly. Distraction reduces a driver's ability to drive safely. Teen drivers involved in accidents because they are distracted by a cell phone or peers are liable to those they injure. Teens, like other drivers on the road, are obligated to follow the rules of the road and drive safely, or to exercise reasonable care while driving. If you have been injured in a car accident with a teen driver, it will be necessary to show that they were driving negligently, or failed to fulfill their duty of using reasonable care, and that this negligence caused your injuries. To recover the money you deserve, you must prove the financial extent of the injuries sustained. For example, in order to recover compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages, you will need to document the cost of your accident-related medical care, as well as the amount of income you have lost due to your accident-related injuries.Experienced Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
If you were injured in an accident because of teen driver negligence, then call the Maine personal injury attorneys at Briggs & Wholey. We have successfully dealt with individual at-fault drivers and resistant insurance company representatives in countless cases, and will work tirelessly to pursue all possible avenues of compensation, including your own insurance policy limits for uninsured or underinsured motorists. If you or family member have been injured by a teen driver and would like to speak with an experienced car accident attorney, call our law office today at (888) 596-1099 or contact us online.