Teen Driver Car Accidents in the Permian Basin

Posted by: Kemmy Law Firm

There are exceptions, but there’s a good reason that car insurance for a 17-year-old is higher than for someone who’s 40. Teen drivers lack experience and may be unable to handle all of driving’s safety demands.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident with a teen driver, reach out to an experienced attorney. With offices in Odessa, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; and Hobbs, New Mexico, reach out to the Kemmy Law Firm at (210) 735-2233 for a free consultation.

Teen Driver Accident Statistics

Teen drivers are about 4.5% of all licensed Texas drivers. In 2019, according to the Texas Department of Transportation, drivers 16 to 19 were involved in:

  • 83,202 vehicle crashes, about 8% of the total
  • 1,609 vehicle crashes where serious injuries were suspected, 7.5% of the total
  • 309 fatal vehicle crashes, about 6% of the total

Texas teens are over-represented in all these accidents, by nearly 50% to almost 100%. Teens are slightly under-represented in accidents involving intoxicated drivers. Teens represent 1,012 of those accidents, which is about 4% of the total.

Teen Drivers Make Mistakes That Cause Accidents

Teens are more than one-and-a-half times more likely than adults to be involved in a deadly crash, reports CBS News. The most common mistakes teens make are poor visual scanning, followed by speeding, then distracted driving. Teen drivers were involved in 14,000 fatal crashes from 2011 to 2016. More than 4,200 of those fatal crashes involved excessive speed.

According to an article in the medical journal Pediatrics, immaturity, inexperience, and risky behavior put newly licensed teen drivers at risk. Vehicle accidents are the most common cause of death and injury for teens and young adults in developed countries.

  • Teen drivers (15 to 19 years of age) have the highest rate of motor vehicle crashes among all age groups in the US. They’re disproportionately involved in traffic fatalities
  • More than half of 8 to 17-year-old passengers killed in car crashes were in a car that was driven by those younger than 20
  • Per mile driven, 16 and 17-year-old drivers have the highest rates of vehicle crashes, injuries to themselves or passengers, and fatalities of those outside the car
  • One of the greatest risks is having other teens in the car, which can lead to distractions and riskier driving behavior
  • Most teens don’t get enough sleep, which increases the risk of a crash, especially at night

A Lack of Driver Maturity Is Dangerous

Immaturity in thinking – including problems with self-control, attention, and decision-making – may contribute to bad teen driving, but there’s no direct proof these issues increase teens’ crash risk.

Many behaviors and motivations related to driving are based in the brain. They’re less related to the driver’s age than to his or her stage of puberty. Young drivers also test limits, which can lead to accidents when they go too far. Teen drivers need to master skills that require knowledge, experience, and judgment when risk-taking behaviors and peer pressure influence are at their peak.

Fewer Teens Are Involved in Fatal Accidents

Despite all of this, there is good news for teen drivers:

  • The number of teens killed in vehicle accidents has dropped by nearly 50% over the last decade, which matches the overall reduction in traffic deaths
  • Vehicles are safer, more teens use seat belts, and there is increased enforcement of impaired driving laws
  • Graduated driver’s licensing laws are also a factor. New drivers start with many restrictions that are gradually removed as time passes and experience increases
  • There are also fewer teens driving. From 1996 to 2010, the share of US high school seniors licensed to drive went from 85% to 73%

You Can Help Make Driving Safer

To reduce the risks for your teen driver, do the following:

  • Model safe driving. Actions speak louder than words. Telling your new driver not to speed won’t do much good if you do it yourself
  • Is your teen immature? Does he or she take too many risks? Does your teen make poor choices because of the influence of friends? If so, maybe it’s too soon to allow driving
  • Is too much going on in your teen’s life? If school, friends, sports, or working doesn’t allow your teen to get enough sleep, it increases the chances of an accident
  • Set rules for your teen’s driving. Enforce them. Let your teen know unsafe driving has consequences
  • Your teen shouldn’t drive with friends in the car. There may be too much distraction to drive safely
  • Your teen’s smartphone shouldn’t be accessible while they drive. Texting, talking and using apps while a teen drives is a recipe for an accident

Contact the Kemmy Law Firm After a Car Accident

The Kemmy Law Firm helps accident victims throughout the Permian Basin. We have more than 50 years of combined legal experience, and our clients have received millions of dollars. The Kemmy Law Firm can handle every part of your claim so you can get all that you’re entitled to under the law.

Contact us online or call (210) 735-2233. We don’t charge for initial consultations, and you owe us nothing unless you recover compensation.

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When you work with us at Kemmy Law Firm, you are working with a family run firm with more than 50 years of combined experience. We are dedicated and successful trial attorneys practicing in West TX, Hobbs, NM, Midland-Odessa, and across the Permian Basin. Our team handles everything from catastrophic injury claims to complex business matters. We are here to fight for you. We dedicate our time and attention to your case and use every resource available to maximize your claim and obtain the best possible outcome.