It is a detail we hear all too often in our work as your Panama City car accident law firm. In working with accident victims, we find that young drivers are disproportionately responsible for car crashes. Some clients feel hesitant to bring a claim against a young person, but they still find themselves in need of monetary compensation following a major injury. We remind these clients that society must hold young drivers responsible for the negligent behaviors that lead to car accidents and remind them that they will be treated like adults when they take on the very adult privilege of driving.
A recent CNN report focused on the risky habits of younger drivers. The first driver introduced in the article is Chance Bothe, a 21-year-old from Texas who had just sent a text declaring, "I need to stop before I have a wreck and kill myself" when his truck plummeted down a 20-foot ravine. He survived but spent three weeks in a coma and months recuperating in the hospital. The piece then shifted to discuss accidents involving teens in Illinois, Ohio, and Texas, a total of three crashes that claimed 15 young lives in a 3-day span.
Sadly, these accidents are not outliers. Motor-vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 20. Compared to older drivers, teens are 3 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash. According to the Centers for Disease Control, a total of 2,700 people aged 16 to 19 died in vehicle crashes during 2010, a figure that works out to more than 7 teen deaths every day. In the same year, an additional 282,000 young people required injury treatment following vehicle accidents.
There are numerous other factors that increase the risk for car accidents and accident-related injuries among young people.
All of these statistics are important, but it was another fact that really caught the attention of our Panama City accident law firm – in a state-to-state comparison, Florida had the second-highest number of fatal crashes involving young drivers in 2010. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that Florida's 113 accidents came second only to Texas.
We support increased safety efforts targeted towards young drivers. Graduated licenses, tracking technology, and hazard-recognition education are just a few of the efforts that may help reduce the accident rate involving young drivers. We also believe in holding people responsible for their behavior behind the wheel. Hearing about their peers being held legally liable for negligent driving may make other teens think twice before shirking their driving responsibilities.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a teen driver in Northwest Florida, please call our Panama City injury law firm. We can help you recover monetary damages and send a message reminding young people that enjoying an adult privilege means taking on adult responsibility.