The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that car accidents are the leading cause of teenage deaths in the United States. Approximately six teenagers between the ages of 15-19 die from injuries related to a car accident every day. Parents of teenage drivers and those that suffer injuries after a collision with a Maine teenage driver should understand their rights and remedies, because these car accidents often result in serious bodily injury and property damage.
For example, recently, three teens died and two suffered injuries in an accident on an icy Maine road. According to one news report, three children died after the car they were traveling in went into an “uncontrolled skid” after entering an icy stretch. After spinning out of control, the vehicle slammed into a large pine tree. When emergency personnel arrived, they found a 15-year-old boy and two sisters aged 14 and 12 lifeless inside the sedan. Two other victims, including the 16-year-old unlicensed driver, were transported to a local hospital. Police reported that the sedan was mangled, and there was an array of car parts and fast-food containers strewn across the road. The police spokesperson indicated that the accident was still under investigation, but inexperience and speed were likely the two main reasons for the accident.
There are many reasons teen drivers are more likely to cause Maine car accidents and suffer serious injuries. The primary reason is inexperience. Teen drivers, especially those that do not possess a driver’s license, do not understand how to operate a vehicle. Their immaturity, in conjunction with a lack of skills and experience, can have deadly consequences. Next, teen drivers are more likely to engage in distracted driving. Teenagers are often more concerned with their cellphones and what is going on in their cars, rather than on the road. Drunk driving is also one of the top five causes of teen driving accidents. Recent studies indicate that 15% of drivers between 16 and 20 years old had a blood alcohol content over the legal limit of .08%. The CDC also reports that teenagers are more likely to speed and swerve in between vehicles. Finally, teenagers have the lowest rates of seatbelt use, which can exacerbate injuries.