Teen Car Accidents: Speeding & Texting Remain a Problem

Teen reading text messages holding a cell phone while driving.

A Maine car accident lawyer explains why teen driver safety must be a priority

Car accidents caused by teenage drivers often involve texting while driving or speeding, according to a recent study that found young drivers often engage in both dangerous activities at an alarming rate.

"The data from these teens gives us another way of observing driving behaviors beyond self-report," Catherine McDonald, co-director of the PENN Injury Science Center at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and the lead researcher for the recent study, said in an interview with Health Day News.

Our Maine car accident attorneys know the dangers young drivers face on the road. It's one of the reasons why the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein sponsors our annual "Arrive Alive" creative contest, which focuses on the dangers of distracted driving and drunk driving among teen drivers. Winning entries have ranged from essays and poems to drawings, paintings, songs, and board games about this important topic.

Teen drivers text at an alarming rate

Researchers at the PENN Injury Science Center studied the driving habits of 165 teen drivers whose average age was 17 years old and had driver's licenses for less than eight months. The results were clear – teenagers often use their cellphones while driving.

In particular, 30 percent of the study's drivers held their cellphones while driving. In addition, 5 percent of drivers in the survey used their cellphone while driving and went above the speed limit simultaneously. Finally, and contrary to other studies, young men and women drivers used their cellphones at nearly the same rate as each other.

A more extensive 2019 study involving teen drivers came to a similar conclusion. According to the national annual Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 39 percent of young drivers admitted they had texted or emailed while driving at least once during the past 30 days.

Speeding often contributes to car crashes caused by teens

According to the recent PENN Injury Science Center, along with texting while driving, many teen drivers often speed. Specifically, 40 percent of teenagers who participated in the study exceeded the speed limit.

Teen girl driving fast with the sunroof down and her red hair blowing in the wind.

"Parents need to understand the risk for their teens and that teens more than any other age group account for a greater proportion of speeding-related fatalities, and we need parents to understand that so they can monitor and be actively engaged," Pam Shadel Fischer, senior director of external engagement at the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), said in an interview with Health Day News about the PENN Injury Science Center study.

Other risk factors among teen drivers

Along with texting while driving and speeding, teenage drivers also often take other risks that result in serious accidents or injuries, including:

  • Not wearing a seatbelt (43 percent, according to the annual Youth Risk Behavior Survey)
  • Driving while drunk (5 percent of teen drivers)
  • Riding in a car with a drunk driver (17 percent, according to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey)
  • Being distracted by fellow teenagers in the vehicle (teen drivers are three times more likely to be involved in an accident if there are two or more teenage passengers in the car, according to a National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA))

How can a Maine car accident attorney help?

Even if a teenager caused your collision, don't simply assume you will be fairly compensated for your injury-related expenses. Be prepared for the other driver's insurance company to do everything they can to reduce or deny your claim. That's because there's often a lot of money at stake. Likewise, if you are the parent of a teen who was injured in a crash that was not their fault, you can be sure that the insurance company will do everything possible to minimize your claim.

That's why you should take your accident claim seriously right from the start. Talk to a Maine car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein. We know the law. We understand how the civil justice system works. And we're prepared to do the work that needs to be done to get you the results you deserve.

Learn more about your legal rights. Contact our law firm and schedule a free case evaluation to learn how an experienced Maine car accident attorney can help with your potential legal case. We have seven offices conveniently located throughout Maine. In addition, we work on a contingency fee basis. That means there are no attorney fees unless we secure a financial settlement or verdict for you. It's that simple. Give us a call today to find out more.

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