Driving a car is considered a rite of passage for teenagers. Unfortunately, car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death for teens throughout the United States. The sad reality is that 5,000 to 6,000 teenagers die each year due to car accidents. Teen drivers are also responsible for thousands of accidents that injure or kill other drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are four times more likely to be involved in a car accident than adult drivers.
Without proper training and experience, teenagers who operate motor vehicles can be a real danger to themselves and to others on the road in New York and New Jersey. If you’ve been the victim of a car accident involving a teen driver in the New York, Newark or surrounding NY / NJ metro area, the experienced car accident attorneys at Ginarte, O’Dwyer, Gonzalez, Gallardo, Verchick & Winograd, L.L.P., can help you get the compensation you deserve.
New York and New Jersey Teen Driving Laws
Both New York and New Jersey acknowledge that teen drivers can cause serious accidents on streets and highways. That’s why these states have each developed their own set of laws to keep roadways as safe as possible from the threat posed by inexperienced young drivers.
In 2003, New York enacted a graduated license law. Drivers under age 18 are allowed to carry only one passenger under the age of 21 in the vehicle, unless accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or certified driving instructor. There is no exception to this law, even if the passengers under 21 years of age are family members. All passengers who ride with the junior driver must wear safety belts or sit in an approved child safety seat.
Like New York, New Jersey also has a graduated license system for teen drivers. This structure is designed to provide teen drivers with plenty of time to practice driving under supervision, increasing parental or adult involvement in the training process.
Both New York and New Jersey have developed their teen driving programs in a very controlled manner because of the high risk of accidents in this age group.
Risky Teen Driving Behaviors
It’s wise that both New York and New Jersey require such extensive driver training for teenagers who aspire to operate a motor vehicle. Statistics show that teens cause an alarming number of car accidents. In fact, the highest risk of getting into a car crash occurs within the first seven months of obtaining a driver’s license.
Males are twice as likely as females to be killed in an automobile collision during their teenage years. More than half of teens who die in car accidents aren’t wearing their seatbelts. And just over 30 percent of the teens who lose their lives in car crashes were drinking alcohol at the time of their death.
While inexperience and an unrealistic sense of their own driving skills account for many of these statistics, research shows that teenagers are susceptible to many of the same vices that plague adult drivers. Distracted driving is a clear threat to everyone on the road. But when a teenager engages in distractions, the consequences can be even worse due to driver inexperience. Teen drivers are also more likely to engage in text messaging, which can cause a deadly accident.
Teenagers are prone to speeding and other aggressive behaviors. Part of this poor judgment is due to a lack of experience. But peer pressure and overconfidence also play a role in the mind of a young driver. Similarly, most teenaged drivers do not have the ability to compare risks of encountering a danger with their capacity to avoid this threat. In many cases, they underestimate the hazard and overestimate their capability to handle it.
Discuss Your NY / NJ Teen Driving Accident Claim With Us Now
If you’ve been the victim of a teen driver’s inexperience, the car accident lawyers at the Ginarte law firm are here for you. It costs you nothing to talk with one of our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys. We offer free consultations. And we receive compensation only if you win your case. Call us now at 1-888-GINARTE (1-888-446-2783). You can also fill out our online contact form.