Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers aged 16 – 20. In 2018, 2,121 people were killed in accidents involving teen drivers (15- 18 years old). Teen drivers are generally just learning how to be on the road and drive safely, so it is logical that they’d get into more accidents than the average driver. However, that’s not a consolation when you are the one involved in a teen driver accident.  

How Common Are Teen Driver Accidents?  

In 2018 in Arizona, there were 17,014 16 – 19 year old teens involved in car crashes, accounting for 13% of all car accidents.  

What are the Causes of Teen Driver Accidents? 

There are 7 major causes of teen driver accidents.  

  1. Driver Inexperience: Teens who have less than two years of driving do not have the mental “training” to recognize and react to dangerous situations appropriately. Good driving habits and techniques are a result of experience, which most teens have not had the time to accumulate.  
  2. Distracted Driving: Distracted driving means engaging in any type of activity that takes your eyes off the road. This not only includes texting or making phone calls from a device, but also eating, drinking, and adjusting the radio. In Arizona, 57,514 accidents were caused by some sort of distracted driving, which makes up 45% of all accidents.  3
  3. Not Wearing A Seatbelt: Teenagers report the lowest rate of properly wearing a seatbelt of any other age group. In a 2013 study, only slightly more than half of the teens who responded reported that they always wear a seatbelt.  
  4. Driving Under the Influence: Teenagers are generally more likely to engage in riskier behaviors, and almost 25% of teens say they would be willing to get in the car with someone who had been drinking. Combining drinking with lack of experience makes the risk of accident a lot likelier.  
  5. Reckless Driving: About 35% of teens who get into an accident were speeding at the time of the collision. Since teens generally don’t have the experience to tell which behaviors are reckless, they push limits and generally tend to be more reckless than experienced drivers. Other reckless behaviors include making illegal turns, lane changes, tailgating, or speed racing.  
  6. Passengers: One of the biggest distractions for teen drivers is driving with their friends in the front passenger seat. In addition to distraction from talking, some studies show that teens are more likely to engage in reckless driving because they want to impress their friends.  
  7. Texting and Driving: In addition to being considered “distracted driving”, texting and driving is in a category of its own. Social media use and texting while driving are major causes of teen driving accidents.  

Are Parents Liable for Teen Drivers’ Accidents? 

Parents must insure their teens for a rate of no less than $100,000 per person, and $300,000 per accident. By signing for the teen to receive a driver’s license, the adult takes responsibility for:  

  • Property Damage 
  • Injuries to any Passengers 
  • Injuries to any Other Drivers and Passengers  

In the event of a car accident in which the teen is considered at fault, the parents will be liable for any repairs, medical bills, and other compensation that may be required.  

How Does Insurance Work for Teenage Drivers? 

A teen driver is (usually) under their parent’s insurance. If you get into an accident with a teenage driver who does not either have their own insurance or who is not on their parents’ insurance plan, the parents will be held liable for any compensation.  

Resources Near Me 

If you have been in a car crash and need to have your car repaired, here are some mechanics who can help.  

Phoenix Best Mobile Mechanic 

Auto Repair 2 You  

Action Auto Repair 

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At the Thompson Law Firm, we have more than 10 years of experience helping clients obtain compensation for their personal injuries from car accidents, including teenage driver accidents. When you’re ready to talk, please contact our office to arrange a free initial consultation by phone or at our Chandler office. 

If you have been in a car accident that is not your fault, contact Thompson Law Firm in Chandler, AZ to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We provide personal injury legal services to clients in the greater Phoenix area including Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, Maricopa, Globe, and Queen Creek. 

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