Personal Injury Lawyers • Portland and Waterville, ME

Teen Car Accidents: Speeding & Texting Are Often To Blame

teen boy texting and driving at night

Our attorneys break down the findings of a recent study about teen crashes

Teenage drivers often text or drive too fast, resulting in serious car accidents, according to a recent traffic safety study focusing on some of the most common causes of collisions caused by young drivers.

"We need to encourage safe driving and find ways to help prevent those risky driving behaviors like speeding and cellphone use that can lead to a crash," 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 HealthDay News.

Teenagers who take risks on the road put everyone in danger. Unfortunately, we know all too well because the experienced Portland car accident attorneys at Jabar LaLiberty, LLC, have been helping injury victims in Maine for decades. If you were injured in an accident with a teen driver, or if you are the parent of a teen hurt in a crash that wasn't their fault, contact us today to review your potential legal options.

Teen drivers use cellphones at an alarming rate

Researchers at the PENN Injury Science Center recently surveyed and studied the driving habits of 165 teenage drivers who had their driver's licenses less than eight months. One finding, in particular, stood out – the high rate of cellphone use and texting while driving among teenagers.

Specifically, 30 percent of the study's teen drivers held their cellphones while driving. These results reflect a similar, more extensive study conducted in 2019. According to a Youth Risk Behavior Survey published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 39 percent of teenage drivers had texted while driving at least once during the past 30 days.

Speeding is a common cause of teen driving accidents

Along with using cellphones while driving and texting, speeding was found to be very common among teen drivers who participated in the survey. Overall, 40 percent of teenagers in the study drove above the speed limit.

"The data from these teens gives us another way of observing driving behaviors beyond self-report," McDonald said in an interview with HealthDay News about the recent study. "Teens were speeding and using their cellphones while driving."

The CDC has published similar findings, showing that teenagers often speed while driving. According to the CDC Teen Driver Fact Sheet, teen drivers are more likely to speed than older drivers and not leave enough distance between their vehicle and the car in front.

Other reasons why teen drivers cause collisions

Texting and speeding aren't the only reasons some young drivers cause car accidents. Other common contributing factors include:

  • Drunk driving – 5 percent of teenagers admitted to driving drunk, according to the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey. In addition, 17 percent of teenagers admitted to riding in a car driven by a drunk teenager.
  • Inexperience – Some young drivers don't accurately assess how dangerous certain situations are on the road, resulting in serious accidents.
  • Driving at night – Teenage drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal nighttime car accident than an adult driver, according to the CDC Teen Driver Fact Sheet.
  • Not wearing seatbelts – While this dangerous practice does not cause accidents, injuries and fatalities are often much more common in collisions in which the driver or passengers are not wearing their seatbelts. And teenagers have the lowest seatbelt use rate of any age group, according to the CDC.
  • Driving with other teenagers – Even more than texting while driving, driving with other teenagers significantly increases the likelihood of a car accident. If two or more teens are in a car driven by a teenager, they are three times more likely to be involved in a car accident, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA)

How a Maine car accident attorney can help you

Collisions caused by teenage drivers in Maine can quickly turn into complicated legal cases. Sometimes, the teenager who caused your crash denies doing anything wrong. Other times, it's their insurance company that's the problem. Either way, you must take certain steps to protect your rights.

The experienced Maine car accident lawyers at Jabar LaLiberty, LLC in Waterville and Portland can help you build a strong legal case while you focus on recovering from your collision. We know the law. We understand how the legal system works in Maine. And we're prepared to do the work needed to get the job done right.

Learn more about your legal rights. Contact us and schedule a free consultation with a Maine car accident attorney who puts your best interests first. We work on a contingency fee basis. That means you only have to pay us if we secure money for you, often in the form of an injury settlement or jury verdict. Call (207) 873-0781 or schedule an appointment online. We have two offices conveniently located in Portland and Waterville, Maine.

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