According to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents around the country claim the lives of seven teenagers every day. In 2019 alone, about 258,000 teens were injured and almost 2,400 were killed on the nation’s roads, and some of these accidents took place in West Virginia. Many of these deaths and injuries occurred in the period between the Memorial and Labor Day holidays, which is a period the American Automobile Association has dubbed the “100 deadliest days for teen drivers.” During this time, the number of motor vehicle accidents involving young drivers increases by about 15%.
While this death toll is tragic enough, it does not tell the whole story. This is because the overwhelming number of people killed in these accidents are not teen drivers. When AAA researchers compared the accident rates of teen drivers and older drivers, they discovered that teens are more than four times as likely to be involved in a crash and almost three times as likely to be involved in a crash that causes one or more fatalities. The data suggests that teen drivers are more accident-prone because they often exceed posted speed limits, do not fasten their safety belts and allow themselves to become distracted.
Individuals under the age of 21 are not permitted to consume alcohol, but the results of the CDC’s 2019 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey reveal that many teens ignore the rules. Almost 17% of the teens who responded to the survey said that they had been in a motor vehicle with an impaired driver within the last 30 days, and more than 5% admitted to routinely driving drunk. This is particularly worrying because teens are far more likely to be involved in traffic accidents than older drivers with the same blood alcohol concentration.
Suing teen drivers
If you are injured in an accident caused by a reckless teen driver who lacks the means to make restitution, you may feel that pursing civil remedies is a waste of time. In these situations, an experienced personal injury attorney could seek compensation on your behalf by suing the teen driver’s auto insurance company. An attorney could also take legal action against the teen’s parents if they allowed their child to get behind the wheel after drinking.