For a teen, earning an Illinois driver’s license is a rite of passage, so it is no surprise that many younger drivers get out on the road to enjoy their newfound independence. Unfortunately, the American Automobile Association (AAA) reports that new teen drivers are three times more likely as older motorists to be involved in deadly accidents. This unsettling statistic comes as the “100 Deadliest Days” approach: The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when the number of car accidents involving drivers aged 16-17 increases, causing fatalities and injuries. Additional statistics are equally alarming:
There are some factors that make teens more likely to be in an accident and complex legal issues when a minor suffers injuries in Illinois.
Obviously, teens have less time behind the wheel and driving experience only comes with practice. Mental training is the most critical aspect of driving experience, since motorists must be able to identify and anticipate conditions on the road. Physical muscle memory is also a factor.
Regardless of laws regarding cell phone usage, motorists of all ages engage in this risky behavior. It just so happens that checking social media, texting, talking, posting pictures, and similar activities are extremely popular among teens. Younger drivers often do not appreciate how dangerous smartphone usage is for a motorist who needs to be fully focused on operating the vehicle.
Some activities are just as hazardous as using the phone, even though Illinois has not enacted laws to address them. Eating, drinking, applying makeup, adjusting the radio, and using a GPS are also distractions that take a driver’s attention away from the road. According to the AAA report, some form of distraction is a factor in 60 percent of all crashes involving teens.
Teens are more likely to push the limits when operating a vehicle, taking unnecessary risks and speeding. Reckless driving is especially a concern when other teens are in the car, as a younger motorist may be pushed by peer pressure and motivated by the need to impress friends.
Though laws, reminders to buckle up, and safety tips may help reduce the number of teen auto crashes, these incidents still occur with alarming frequency. There is simply no replacement for experience, which can only come with practice. If you were injured in a teen car accident, you do have rights. Please contact Michael T. Friedman & Associates to set up a case evaluation regarding your situation.
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