Nationally, teen drivers account for a large percentage of vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, many of the teens die in car crashes. From the moment drivers ages 15 to 20 hit the road, the risk of death or injury increases for passengers, occupants of other vehicles, and non-occupants. These statistics are reflected cities and towns across the US, including Irvine, California.
According to the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, “Unlicensed driving is involved in a disproportionate and increasing number of preventable crash fatalities and plays a detrimental role in the lifesaving safety behaviors of their passengers. Our findings highlight an alarming peer influence between unlicensed drivers and passengers, placing increased emphasis on the need to better understand and characterize this present and growing threat.”
If you find yourself or a loved one has suffered an injury associated with a vehicle accident, the experienced personal injury lawyers at Avrek Law Firm can guide you through the process of receiving the compensation you’re due. Our law firm tackles every case with evidence collected from police reports, eyewitnesses, and other sources. You’ll never have to negotiate a settlement without one of our lawyers at the helm.
Statistics for teen driver-related car crashes in the United States clarify just how vital it is to seek support from vehicle accident law professionals immediately. If necessary, a family member can call the office to start the process.
US Teen Driving Statistics In 2016
- In 31 percent of fatalities, speeding was involved.
- Passenger vehicles account for 2,100 fatal car crashes a year.
- 20 percent of fatal accidents involved alcohol.
Fatalities in crashes involving teen drivers in 2016
- Drivers – 1,908
- Passengers – 1,018
- Occupants in another vehicle – 1,338
- Non-occupants – 589
Medical expenses in 2016
- Nearly 295,000 teens were treated in the emergency room after vehicle accidents.
- Teen vehicle accidents account for 8.4 percent of medical costs associated with crashes, or $13.6 billion.
Quick facts on teen car crashes in 2016
- Male drivers account for 66 percent of accidents.
- More than 75 percent of fatalities were passengers, not drivers.
- More than 50 percent of deaths happen Fridays through Sundays.
- Most deaths associated with teen drivers occur after 9 p.m.
- Talking on the phone while driving reduces reaction speed to that of a 70-year-old.
California Teen License Restrictions
In hopes of reducing the number of car crashes in California, state laws impose restrictions on drivers under 18. These restrictions include requiring a licensed parent or guardian, licensed driver 25 or older, or a driving instructor be present in the vehicle when teens are driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. or when passengers are 20 or younger.
The restrictions have exceptions. All exceptions require a signed note from an adult involved in the situation. Only emancipated minors are exempt from restrictions without the consent or signed note from an adult. Exceptions and notes required include:
- Medical transportation, with a signed doctor’s note
- School activity or attendance, with a signed principal’s note
- Job, with a signed employer’s note
- Your need or need of a member of the family, with a signed parent’s note
Common Causes Of Teen Car Crashes In Orange County
Many teen vehicle accidents are attributed to driver negligence, but that doesn’t account for all accidents. According to Varsity Driving Academy in Irvine, a driver training program serving Irvine, California, common causes of teen car crashes include:
- Distracted driving
- Talking on the phone
- Loud music
- Drinking non-alcoholic beverages
- Picking up dropped items from the floor
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Medical conditions such as ADHD
What is Irvine, California, doing to decrease teen car crash fatalities?
The BRAKES (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe) training program has partnered with Kia Motors America, headquartered in Irvine, California, to eliminate as many teen car crashes as possible through education and training. According to research, teens who graduate are nearly 65 percent less likely to be involved in a car accident for up to three years after the training.
The California Highway Patrol, which serves Irvine, California, established the Start Smart program for teens who are licensed or those soon to be licensed. The program teaches young drivers about responsibility on the road, awareness of surroundings, and the importance of wearing a seat belt. Parents are welcome to participate in the program that allows for continued support after completing the program. According to the commissioner of Start Smart, “Start Smart prepares new drivers and their parents for the challenges that lie ahead. Ultimately, the goal is to save the lives by producing safe drivers through education.”
Teen driving is a risk, which is why you need help
Decades of research has proven teen drivers are at higher risk of injury and death associated with car crashes. At the time of the accident, teens are often overwhelmed by the influx of activity with police officers, medical personnel, and fire department personnel at the scene.
Teens may feel driven to call a parent, sibling, or friend immediately, but it’s more important to focus on your body. If you feel injured, in any way, take the ambulance to the emergency room. Seeking care at the scene of the crime increases the likelihood of being examined more closely and lessens the chance of injuries going unnoticed. If anything feels out of the ordinary, ride the ambulance to the hospital for a full checkup.
Drivers under 18 may refuse to make a statement and ask to call parent or lawyer before answering questions about the accident. This refusal doesn’t require the parent or guardian to be present at the scene. Teens have the right to refuse without adult consent. This includes refusing to speak with officers once reaching the hospital.
This is where our personal injury lawyers go to work. From the moment an attorney is hired to work the case, neither the child nor the parent will answer questions without the presence of a lawyer.
How long will it take to settle a teen car crash case?
There’s no set time frame for settlement of a vehicle accident case. Many factors contribute to the time it takes to close a case. These include:
- Type of accident
- Determination of fault
- Case disputed by the insurance company or another driver, if applicable
Road conditions also play a critical role in the resolution of a case. Roadway defects such as potholes, poor lighting, missing signage, drop at the shoulder, and worn roadways all affect case processing.
Avrek Law’s legal team is here to work on the case from start to finish. Your attorney will obtain all required evidence from police reports, statements from eyewitnesses, and phone records if the case involves distracted driving. They will investigate the scene of the accident and help coordinate medical care, when possible.
Irvine, California, is no stranger to teen car crashes, and in every instance, parents and guardians who contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible gain the support needed from the start. Here are a few such cases:
May 2013. Five Irvine High School students killed in car crash on a Memorial Day trip to the beach.
October 2014. A fiery crash on the 5 Freeway takes the lives of five of six teens. The 16-year-old driver is the sole survivor. In 2015, law enforcement charged the teen in the accident. The victim’s families were eligible to seek legal representation.
February 2018. Orange County teen dies in car crash. The driver and second passenger, both teens, survive with major injuries.
November 2018. Single-car accident kills 17-year-old Irvine resident at Paseo Westpark and San Remo.
What Compensation Are You Entitled To?
Vehicle accidents tend to be either open-and-shut cases (rear-end collisions with a clear at-fault driver) or more involved with medical expenses, lost wages (parent and teen), property damage, pain and suffering, and rehabilitation. Lawyers settle cases in two parts: vehicle repair and medical care, pain, and suffering.
A collision expert completes your vehicle repair before medical care concludes, in applicable cases. Once you’ve employed your Avrek Law personal injury lawyer, a collision specialist estimates repair costs, which is then approved by the at-fault insurance company. Repairs aren’t relevant with total car loss.
Medical care can be a lengthy process. Any respected lawyer will advise a client to not even consider a medical settlement until all injured parties recover fully. This could mean the case could last a year or longer, which makes it even more important to have a lawyer by your side to fight tirelessly to get the best possible settlement. With 50 years of combined experience, car crashes in Irvine, California, are what we do, and it’s what we’ve spent our lives doing; recovering tens of millions of dollars for our clients in the process.
Teen car crashes are common events in Irvine, California, and all of Orange County. Every case will benefit from hiring a personal injury lawyer from Avrek Law firm. If you’ve been in an accident and you need a lawyer, call our office at 1-877-978-3499 or contact us online.