Few things are more stressful for parents in Southern California than handing your car keys over to a teenage driver. El Dabe Ritter partner Sherif El Dabe says “I remember getting my license at 16 years old in Los Angeles and looking back, I am not sure I had the maturity to be driving.” There is good reason to feel unnerved; the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) reports that teen drivers are nearly four times more likely to be involved in an accident.
Motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Almost 2,500 teens aged 13–19 lost their lives in car crashes in 2018. That’s about seven teens a day.
There are steps you can take to help reduce the risk and make your teen a safer driver. Parents can make a big difference in keeping teen drivers safe. Use a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement to put rules in place that will help your teen stay safe on the road.
Here, our Los Angeles car accident attorneys provide an overview of the top causes of teenage driver crashes.
Federal Report: Six Common Causes of Teen Driver Accident Injuries
In its report on teen drivers and teen driver accidents, the CDC stresses that there are proactive measures that parents can take to improve young driver safety.
While teens are far more likely to get into accidents than other drivers, much of the gap can be reduced with proper strategies. There are six typical causes of teenage car accidents, including:
- Driver Inexperience: The single leading cause of teen driver crashes is simply inexperience. Operating a motor vehicle is a complicated task. It requires practice. Parents and other loved ones are encouraged to practice with teen drivers under safe conditions.
- Teen Passengers in the Vehicle: One study found that teens are more than ten times more likely to crash if they have other teen passengers in the vehicle. For this reason, California has a graduated licensing program that limits teen’s ability to drive their friends around.
- Night Driving: Night-time driving is another big problem for inexperienced drivers. California’s graduated licensing program prevents teens from driving between 11 pm and 5 am during their first year. Parents and guardians can also impose additional limits on night driving.
- Distracted Driving: Distracted driving is a serious issue for all motorists, especially teens. Texting while driving and using a cell phone while driving is extremely dangerous. If you catch your teenager using a phone while in the driver’s seat, immediate action is required. It is illegal, and it is a considerable safety threat.
- Reckless Driving: While not an issue for every teen driver, some take far too many risks while behind the wheel. Reckless driving, including speeding and weaving between traffic, is one of the most common causes of accidents.
- Lack of Seat Belt Usage: Finally, a significant percentage of teen driver injuries occur because they were not wearing a seat belt. Seat belts save lives. In California, everyone should buckle up. Drivers and passengers both need to wear safety belts.
Speak to Our Los Angeles Auto Accident Lawyers Today
At El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, our Los Angeles car accident attorneys are committed to getting justice and compensation for victims of crashes. If your teenager was injured in a motor vehicle collision, we will help you.
Contact us right away for a free review and evaluation of your case. We represent injured victims throughout Los Angeles County, including Santa Clarita, Whittier, West Covina, Palmdale, Glendale, and Norwalk.