Motor vehicle accidents are not uncommon on Atlanta roadways, and it affects all age groups. But, unfortunately, teenagers are one of the most affected age groups when it comes to traffic crashes. Yearly, several teens sustain diverse injuries or lose their lives in teen car crashes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death of teens in the U.S. In 2019, almost 2,400 teens aged between 13 and 19 died in accidents, and about 258,000 received treatment in hospital emergency rooms. It means that every day, seven teenagers within that age bracket died in traffic crashes that year.
In this article, our Atlanta car accident lawyers look at the leading causes of teen car crashes in the city. If you are involved in a vehicle collision, you should contact an attorney immediately. A lawyer will advise you of your rights and the appropriate steps to take.
Causes of Teen Car Accidents in Atlanta
Traffic collisions involving teens happen for several reasons, but we’ll focus on the leading causes for this article.
The teenage years are the time of many firsts, and one is driving for the first time. When teens get their driver’s license, they can’t wait to get behind the wheel and drive. But, unfortunately, the joy and the thrill of driving make them forget they are inexperienced, and they fail to recognize the dangers on the road. As a result, they make critical errors that often lead to traffic crashes. For this reason, adults should accompany teens until they gain a little experience and become acquainted with the road’s rules.
Accidents happen within a split second, especially if the driver is distracted. There are three known types of distraction when on the road. They are:
- Visual Distractions: This distraction involves taking the eyes off the roadway. In an era of social media and smartphones, it is not uncommon for teenagers to look away from the road to read a text or check their feed. Such acts of distraction can cause an accident.
- Manual Distractions: This distraction involves taking the hands off the steering wheel to perform other functions. The latter could be sending texts, eating, making calls, etc.
- Cognitive Distractions: They are mental distractions covering thoughts that affect concentration on the task at hand. Teen drivers must make a conscious effort to keep their attention on the road and avoid distractions.
The thrill of being on the road causes teen drivers to speed and allows shorter headways. While Georgia does not have a specific speed limit for teens, they must abide by the legal or posted speed limit of the roadway they’re traveling on. If a teen fails to abide by the speed limit, they will receive a citation if a crash happens.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol increases the risk of vehicle accidents, and it is worse in teens than adults. Georgia is a zero-tolerance state, meaning that drivers below 21 years (teenagers) must have less than 0.02% blood alcohol concentration. A teenager who drives intoxicated commits an offense and is liable to face punishment.
Who Is Responsible for a Teen Car Crash?
Responsibility after a car accident involving a teenager is the same as in crashes involving adults. Since Georgia follows the fault system, the at-fault party would be the one to pay compensation to the injured victim. Thus, it is crucial to identify the person whose actions led to the collision.
To do this, the responding law enforcement agency would investigate the accident beginning from the crash scene. They will look at the point of contact of the vehicles, the number of vehicles involved, video footage, and speak with witnesses. If the teen is the fault party after all these, their parent or guardian would likely pay compensation using their auto insurance policy.
If the fault party is the other driver, then they will pay compensation to the teenager. Compensation in these cases covers economic and non-economic damages. Find out more about the preceding from our expert Atlanta car accident lawyers.
Let Our Experienced Auto Accident Attorneys Help You!
Have you been involved in a teen car crash? Then our experienced auto accident lawyers at The Weinstein Firm can represent you. We will identify who is at fault and ensure the at-fault party pays you the appropriate compensation. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay us until we win. So, call today to schedule a free case review with one of our attorneys.