Teen Driver Accidents
Teenage drivers are often behind the wheel of some of the more serious car accidents on the road. Knoxville car accident attorney Mark C. Hartsoe can help you if you were injured in an accident caused by a teen driver. Mr. Hartsoe is dedicated to helping car accident victims receive compensation for their injuries. Contact us today to discuss your case.Teenage Driving Accidents in the U.S. and Tennessee
Car accidents involving teen drivers in the U.S. are often the result of inexperience and distracted driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), teen drivers are three times more likely to be in a fatal car crash than drivers over the age of 20. Ten percent of all drivers involved in fatal car accidents were teenagers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Nearly 9.4 million police-reported crashes involved teenage drivers. There were over 100 fatal car accidents in Tennessee in 2012 that involved teenage drivers.
Several reasons account for why teenage drivers are more likely to get into car accidents than other drivers, such as:
- Distraction by another passenger in the car, particularly another teenager
- Use of an electronic device, such as a cell phone
- Lack of familiarity with the vehicle or road
- Alcohol or drug impairment
A 2013 CDC study published in the journal Pediatrics also found that teenagers who text while driving are especially more likely to engage in risky driving behavior than their non-texting counterparts. These drivers are less likely to wear their seatbelts and more likely to drink and drive.Liability for Teenage Driving Accidents
A teenage driver should be held responsible if they cause an accident. All drivers in Tennessee have a duty to exercise reasonable care when they drive or otherwise operate their vehicles, regardless of their age or experience. Tennessee does take steps to ensure that teenage drivers meet certain requirements before issuing a permit or license to drive. Young drivers can obtain a learner’s permit if they are at least fifteen years of age and drive while accompanied by a licensed driver over the age of 21. An intermediate driver license is issued to teenagers if they are at least sixteen years old and meet several other requirements, such as accumulating a minimum of fifty hours behind the wheel of a car.
Teenagers can be particularly prone to distraction by electronic devices, and Tennessee strictly prohibits texting while driving. Although it does not ban the use of cell phones, the state bans their use by drivers with a permit or intermediate license. Unless it is used to make a call for emergency help, young drivers cannot talk, text, or otherwise use a cell phone while driving.
Further, many teenagers simply lack the experience, maturity, and attention to exercise reasonable care when they operate a vehicle. They fail to pay attention to the road, lack the ability to properly control a vehicle, or end up violating traffic rules as they become familiar with driving. Despite the laws in place, teenage drivers do indeed cause accidents that can result in serious injuries to themselves, their passengers, and others on the road.Compensation & Recovery
You can recover for your injuries if you were hurt in a teen driving accident. Tennessee allows you to file a personal injury claim against the teenage driver whose negligence has injured you or a loved one; you can also seek to hold the driver’s parents financially responsible. You can seek compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. If you lost a relative as a result of careless driving by a teenager, you can file a wrongful death suit on behalf of your loved one.
Dedicated to Your Personal Injury Case
Knoxville personal injury lawyer Mark C. Hartsoe is prepared to help you recover for your teen car accident injuries. Mr. Hartsoe has spent years representing car accident victims across Tennessee. He will prepare your case, negotiate a settlement, and advocate for you at trial if necessary. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a teenage driving accident, call us today at (865) 524-5657 or contact us online to see how we can help you.