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Teen Driving Accidents

Earning a driver’s license is an exciting rite of passage for American teens. It is to be expected that some of their parents may not be quite as enthusiastic about their newfound freedom. As it turns out, parents do have reason to be concerned about their amateur drivers.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), fatal car accident rates are three times higher among drivers ages 16-19 than drivers who are age 20 and older.

Common Causes

There are many reasons why teen drivers are more likely to be involved in a crash. Some of the common causes of teen driving accidents include:

Distracted driving: While 90 percent of teens say they are aware of and understand the risks of distracted driving, one-third of them still admit to sending or reading texts while driving.

But it is not just mobile phones that distract teens from watching the road ahead. Food, drinks, the radio, and passengers can cause drivers to take their eyes off the road or their hands off the wheel. It only takes a few seconds of distraction for a serious crash to happen.

Drunk driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a problem for drivers of all ages, but especially teens. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) estimates that around one-quarter of all car accidents involving teen drivers are the result of drinking and driving. Many of these accidents are fatal.

Not using seatbelts: We know that seatbelts save lives. But many teens are still not getting the message. Of all age groups on the road, teens are the least likely to buckle up. This is one reason why car accidents involving teens often involve serious and fatal injuries.

Too many passengers: With every additional passenger, the risk of a car accident increases. Many states have laws regulating how many passengers teens and novice drivers can transport.

In Delaware, teens in their first year of driving are only permitted to transport one supervisor or sponsor and one additional passenger.

Graduated Driver’s License in Delaware

Like several other states, teens in Delaware begin the driving process with a graduated licensing system. Between the ages of 16 and 18, teens can obtain their level one learner’s permit after completing a driver’s education course.

To apply for a learner’s permit, teens must have a sponsor, which can be a parent, legal guardian, or a legally appointed custodian over the age of 25, sign the application. By signing the application, the sponsor shares responsibility for any damage a teen driver causes before their 18th birthday. The sponsor or supervisor must sit beside the teen driver in the passenger seat anytime the vehicle is in motion.

There are restrictions on what time of day level one learner’s permit holders can drive with supervision. After a year in good standing, the permit becomes a Class D License. Delaware also has mandatory minimum insurance requirements.

This multi-step system to obtaining a driver’s license is designed to help teens gain experience and confidence gradually, while keeping themselves and others safe around them.

Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC Represent Clients Involved in Motor Vehicle Accidents

A Delaware car accident lawyer at McCann & Wall, LLC is your best resource for a motor vehicle claim. We work hard to secure the compensation you deserve for your car accident injuries. We understand the laws regarding teen drivers in Delaware, and how failure to abide by those laws may impact your case.

Call 302-888-1221 or contact us online today to schedule a free initial consultation. We serve clients across Delaware, including Wilmington, Middletown, Newark and Dover, as well the greater Philadelphia region including Delaware County, Chester County, and throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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