car accidents

Leading Causes of Car Accidents Involving Young Drivers

David Monteleone
Illinois Accident and Wrongful Death Lawyer

  Posted  |  Category : Car Accident Lawyer

Nationwide, drivers under 21 only make up about 5% of the motorists on highways and byways. Yet younger drivers cause about 10% of the fatal collisions on our roads. Although these wrecks have the same basic causes as some other kinds of wrecks, young driver collisions are complex legal matters. For example, these collisions often involve third-party liability because of the negligent entrustment doctrine.

Because of this additional complexity, only an experienced Rockford car accident lawyer can guide you through the claims process and obtain maximum compensation for your serious injuries. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Impaired Driving

Substance use, one of the most common causes of impaired driving, usually is not a major problem in the young driver age group. Fatigue and distraction are much different stories.

Most people are naturally fatigued early in the morning, even if they are well-rested. Unfortunately, many area high schools start classes before 8:00 a.m. Extracurricular activities often start even earlier. So, many teen drivers are on the road when they are dangerously fatigued.

On a similar note, most children do not get as much sleep as they should. Scientists usually recommend about nine to 10 hours a night for individuals in this age group. Most young people do not get nearly that much sleep. Over time, the hours of lost rest really build up.

Driving while fatigued is as bad as driving drunk. Operating a motor vehicle after 18 consecutive awake hours is like driving with a .05 BAC level. That is way above the legal limit for drivers under 21.

Distraction is a serious problem as well, and we are not just talking about hand-held device distraction. Hands-free devices are almost as distracting as hand-held gadgets. Additionally, hands-free devices involve a lag time. After using such a device, it usually takes people about 20 seconds to fully re-engage as drivers. Other causes of distracted driving include talking to passengers and eating or drinking while driving.

On a related note, purpose is an issue. Over half of young driver wrecks occur on the weekends when these motorists are driving with no particular purpose.

Aggressive Driving

Speeding, tailgating, failing to obey a traffic signal, and other kinds of aggressive driving also cause a significant number of youth car wrecks in Illinois. Aggressive driving is especially unsafe for young drivers. These motorists often lack the experience necessary to recover from bad choices.

Speeding around a curve is a good example. Many young drivers oversteer in these situations, causing them to drift onto the shoulder. Then, they overcorrect in a desperate attempt to get back on the road. This overcorrection causes them to lose control of their vehicles altogether.

Legally, aggressive driving claims are often easier for an Illinois car accident lawyer to prove in court. Under the negligence per se rule, tortfeasors (negligent drivers) who violate safety laws and cause wrecks could be responsible for damages as a matter of law.

Connect With a Hard-Working Winnebago County Car Accident Attorney

Accident victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with experienced Winnebago County car accident lawyers, contact Fisk & Monteleone, Ltd. by calling 815-315-0574. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no money or insurance.