How to Respond if You are in a Car Crash With a Teenager
Car crashes can leave people injured and facing substantial medical bills. These accidents can also necessitate a lengthy recovery period. If your crash involved a teenage motorist, you might end up facing nuanced issues involving both compensation and liability. If the teenager is a minor and bears liability for the crash, you might even need to pursue a claim against the teenager’s parents’ insurance carrier to receive compensation for the resulting damages.
If a teenage motorist has their own insurance policy, that teenager’s guardians or parents who signed their permit or other documentation might still bear liability for the resulting crash. Your accident attorney can examine details about the crash to prove the degree of fault that should be associated with both the teenager as well as the teenager’s parent or guardian.
What Factors Play a Roll in Teenage Car Accidents
Several elements make teenage drivers more likely to end up in accidents than other motorists. Some of the factors that place teenage drivers at risk of causing crashes include:
- Distracted driving. Crashes occur involving teenage motorists and distracted driving every day. Teenage motorists are more likely than other motorists to be seriously killed or even injured in car crashes where distracted driving is involved.
- Teenage motorists are more likely than other motorists to drive while tired or to even drift off while driving.
- Teenage drivers may underestimate how dangerous a situation is. Teenage drivers are often less able to spot hazardous driving situations.
- Seat belt usage. Teen drivers are four times more likely to be diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries as the result of accidents. Teenage motorists are also at increased odds of being ejected from a vehicle during a crash because they are not wearing seat belts.
- Teenage drivers are more likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents involving unsafe speeding.
How New York State Has Attempted to Limit Teenage Car Accidents
New York state has taken various actions to try to limit the number of accidents that occur involving teenage drivers. Some of these measures include the following:
- Graduated driver licensing laws (GDL). These regulations help new motorists gain experience under low-risk conditions by granting driving privileges based on stages. The rate of motor vehicle accidents involving the hospitalization of teenage drivers decreased substantially from 2003, when GDL measures were first implemented, to 2014.
- Restricting passenger numbers. In 2010, New York state restricted how many people can ride in a vehicle that is being operated by a teenage motorist with a junior license. GDL regulations have also increased the length of time that a permit must be held and the number of supervised driving hours that are needed before a road test can be scheduled. The number of passengers in a vehicle can distract motorists.
- Parental oversight of teenage drivers. When parents appreciate GDL regulations, they can assist in enforcing these regulations and making sure that teenage drivers are kept safe. One way that a parent can enforce certain restrictions on their teenager is through a parent/teen driving agreement.
New York Law and Teenage Drivers
Parents can be held liable for the negligent entrustment of teenage drivers with a dangerous instrumentality if they let an inexperienced teenager drive the family vehicle. If the teenager negligently drove a vehicle belonging to someone else, this other person can also be held liable. In the state of New York, however, owner liability only applies in situations where the driver has permission to operate the vehicle. If the driver does not have permission, the motorist can still be held liable for any damage or injuries resulting from an accident if the keys were left inside the vehicle while it was parked on a public road.
Tips Drivers Should Follow to Reduce the Risk of Teenage Car Accidents
Teenage drivers should follow some important advice to avoid ending up in car accidents. Some tips that teenage drivers can follow to avoid ending up in car crashes include:
- Avoid giving into other motorists who want you to speed. Teenage drivers are more likely to give in to the temptation to speed. Parents should encourage their teenagers to avoid this temptation. Speeding is a deadly driving pattern and can place many people at risk of being seriously harmed. If your teenage driver wants to hold on to his or her driving privileges, your teenager should appreciate that speeding is not acceptable.
- Being late is better than speeding. It is always a better idea to be late to your destination than speed. You should instruct your teenage motorist to assess their arrival time based on various factors including potential traffic delays. This way, your teenager will not have to worry about speeding to reach their destination on time.
- Stay away from text messages while driving. Any type of interaction with text messages while driving is one of the most hazardous patterns that motorists can follow. Even though trying to separate teenagers from cell phones is a difficult challenge, teenagers must appreciate the various risks presented by texting while driving.
- Always wear your seat belt. From the moment that they begin interacting with motor vehicles, your teenager should understand that they must wear a sea tbelt at all times while a vehicle is being operated. One of the best ways to communicate this message is to establish a good example. Parents who wear their seat belts and require younger motorists to do similarly are inclined to have teenager drivers who make sure to always wear their seatbelts.
Contact an Attorney for Accidents Involving Teenagers
If you incur injuries due to a crash involving a teenage driver in New York, you should not hesitate to contact The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe LLP. Our lawyers can help you assess the best legal strategy for receiving the compensation that you deserve whether this involves making a claim against the driver’s insurance policy or the policy belonging to that teenager’s parents or guardians. Our lawyers will also review the details associated with your case to decide on how liability issues are addressed. Contact our law office today for assistance at 866-924-1787. Free consultation.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information and may not be applicable in your jurisdiction.