Most teen drivers are unable to comprehend the risks and responsibilities that accompany the privilege of driving. Teen drivers are more likely to underestimate dangerous situations and their lack of driving experience can result in serious injuries to themselves and other motorists with whom they share the road.
Texas consistently ranks 1st with respect to fatal car accidents involving teen drivers.
Most car accidents involving teens are due to negligence and human error. Distracted driving, speeding, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are the leading factors involved in Texas teen accidents.
SOME IMPORTANT FACTS AND STATISTICS ON ACCIDENTS INVOLVING TEENS IN TEXAS AND THE UNITED STATES.
- Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death among teenagers in the United States.
- Teens are 10 times more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident than adults.
- 11% of drivers involved in fatal car accidents in the country were between the ages of 15 and 20.
- About 4,000 teens are killed in motor vehicle crashes each year.
- 43% of first-year drivers and 37% of second-year drivers are involved in some sort of motor vehicle accident.
- About 3,000 teens (8 teens a day) die from DUI crashes every year.
- 52% of teen-related motor vehicle accidents occur on weekends.
- Only 65% of teen drivers wear a seatbelt constantly.
- 8% of high-school students in the country have texted while driving.
- 31% of all fatal teen accidents are caused by speeding.
- Seven people are killed in Texas every day in crashes with a teen driver.
- Distracted driving is responsible for nearly six out of ten teen crashes, according to Texas AAA.
- Between 2010 and 2019, there were 2,318 deaths on Texas roads involving teen drivers, with nearly 30% of these deaths occurring during summertime.
- According to Texas A&M Institute, the majority of teens don’t consider driving 5 or 10 miles above the speed limit to be dangerous.
- Drivers aged 15 to 20 in Texas have the highest representation in speed-related fatal crashes (32%).
- According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), 50% of teens who died in car accidents in 2018 were not wearing a seatbelt.
- According to 2019 data from TxDOT, 112,942 drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 were involved in car accidents.
REQUIREMENTS FOR A TEEN DRIVER’S LICENSE IN TEXAS.
There are many laws in Texas which teens are required to follow when applying for and holding a driver’s license. For a teen under 18 years of age, one of the first requirements is the completion of a driver education course. A teen can begin the classroom phase of a driver education course at 14 years, but can apply for a learner’s license after completion of 15 years of age.
There are four types of driver’s education to select from when taking this course which include:
- A traditional driver’s education course is offered by a certified driver training school.
- An online driver’s education course offered by a certified driver training school.
- Parent taught driver education (PTDE).
- Driver’s education courses are offered in public schools.
The Texas Graduated Driver License Program.
The Texas GDL Program includes the following stages:
- Learner’s Stage.
Teens under 18 years must hold a valid learner’s license for a minimum of six months prior to the issuance of a provisional driver’s license.
Teens are required to pass a written test, a sign recognition test, and a vision test to receive a learner’s license. With a learner’s license, teens are allowed to drive with a licensed driver aged 21 or older supervising and sitting in the front seat.
- Provisional Stage.
Once a teen has held a valid learner license for a minimum of six months, and has reached the age of 16, he or she is eligible to take the driving test for his or her provisional license.
Texas law requires teens to take 32 hours of classroom instructions with 30 hours of supervised driver time. Upon passing the driving test, the teen may be issued a provisional driving license.
Such teens may not drive a motor vehicle:
- With more than one passenger in the vehicle under the age of 21 who is not a family member.
- Between midnight and 5 am unless, the operation of the vehicle is necessary for the driver to reach work, or attend a school-related activity, or due to a medical emergency.
If the limitations are observed during the six-month period following the provisional license issuance, the teen may visit a DMV Office and have the restrictions removed.
LIABILITY IN A TEXAS TEEN ACCIDENT LAWSUIT.
In Texas, parents can be held liable under the theory of negligent entrustment when their teenage children cause accidents due to recklessness.
Texas follows the Negligent Entrustment Doctrine, which states that a vehicle owner can be held liable for the negligence of the person who they entrust with their vehicle (such as a teen child).
If a teen driver’s negligence causes property damage, injury, or death, the teen’s parents are legally liable if the negligent conduct of the teen can be attributed to the failure of the parents in exercising their duty of control and discipline of the teen.
A victim of a teen accident has to prove the following elements:
- The owner entrusted the teen with his or her vehicle and allowed the teen to use it.
- The owner knew or should have known that the teen entrusted with the vehicle was either unlicensed, incompetent, or reckless.
- The teen entrusted with the vehicle caused a car accident.
A victim of an accident involving a teen has to enter into a legal battle with the teen and his family, and the insurance company to receive full compensation for Injuries sustained which is impossible without the able guidance of a competent and experienced Dallas teen accident lawyer.
WHY TEXAS TEEN CAR INSURANCE RATES ARE SO HIGH?
Average auto insurance for a teenage driver in Texas costs $622.11 per month or $7,465.36 annually.
Teen drivers pay more for auto insurance because of their lack of driving experience. Auto insurance companies feel inexperienced teen drivers pose a higher risk and are more likely to make poor choices while driving and cause an accident.
Teenagers have worse driving records and higher accident rates. They tend to display impulsive and reckless behavior. Insurance companies view young drivers as potential problems to be dealt with in the future.
Many argue that age-based insurance pricing is a blatant form of discrimination by insurance companies. Insurance companies do offer discounts to teenagers who have attended driver training courses and defensive driving training programs. Good students who maintain good grades are also offered discounts.
Discounts and bundling together family member policies can help teens drivers lower their monthly insurance payments.
According to Insurance.com, one teenage driver in a one-car household can raise monthly payments towards car insurance by 44%. If a family owns two cars, they have to pay 58% more.
One traffic incident could result in an increase in a teen’s insurance rates or cancellation of license.
PREVENTING TEEN DRIVER CAR ACCIDENTS.
Car accidents involving teens are on the rise in Dallas and all across the country. It has become necessary for parents to play an active role in preventing teen driving accidents.
Some measures that could save your teen from being involved in a fatal car crash include :
- Encourage use of seatbelts.
Teenagers are least likely to wear seatbelts. Make sure teenagers make it a habit to wear safety belts since all drivers and their passengers are required to wear one by law
- Reduce the number of passengers in the car.
Teenagers love to drive around with their friends. Statistics have revealed that the number of car accidents involving teenagers increases with each additional passenger.
- Prohibit the use of cell-phone.
Talking on the cellphone or texting while driving is now illegal in most of the states in the country. The use of cell phones should be for emergency purposes only. Teenagers should turn off their notifications before they start to drive. It is in their best interests to pull off the road safely if they have to make an emergency call.
- Educate teenagers about the ill effects of alcohol and drugs.
Alcohol and drugs impair a driver’s judgment and slow down his or her reaction time. Remind your teenagers that it is illegal to consume alcohol and use illicit drugs before or while driving.
- Set an example for the teenagers by practicing defensive driving.
Teenagers learn most of their driving from parents and try to emulate them. Parents should impart Defensive driving techniques – it is your best bet to protect yourself and your teenagers on the roadways. Some important defensive driving tips are:
- Keep a safe distance between you and the car in front of you.
- Drive according to the weather. Weather can be a factor in many accidents, especially during winter.
- Always keep your eyes on the road ahead and hands on the wheel of your car.
LAW OFFICES OF DOROTHY HYDE – OUR CLIENTS GET BETTER SETTLEMENTS AND FAVORABLE VERDICTS.
Many people who try to settle their teen accident claims on their own do not get a fair deal from insurance companies. Without a good accident attorney like Dorothy Hyde by your side, your claim will not live up to its potential. Due to a lack of knowledge of legal procedures and errors in their claims, a case is over before it began for many victims who do not hire a skilled and experienced Dallas car accident attorney.
One of the greatest benefits of hiring a Dallas car wreck attorney is that he or she can unlock the true value of your case. Rather than relying on what you think you should get, a seasoned motor vehicle accident lawyer will calculate the value of your claim based on your financial losses and non-economic damages.
After your accident, when you should be focusing on healing and recovery, you are flooded with calls, messages, and requests from insurance companies, police, doctors, and others which can be overwhelming and stressful.
A Dallas auto accident lawyer at our firm will perform the following duties while you focus on your rehabilitation and recovery:
- Explain to you how the accident affects your legal rights.
- Help you understand complicated legal procedures and interpret medical and insurance jargon for you.
- Get through the maze of paperwork required in filing a claim. There are specific time limits, restrictions, and rules for filing a personal injury claim. An experienced personal injury attorney at our firm ensures that your claim is filed at the earliest in accordance with the Texas Statute of Limitations which is two years from the date of the accident.
- Help you decide your future course of action.
Although you could potentially obtain greater compensation in the form of a jury verdict, a trial can be a long process.
On average, only 5% of personal injury cases in the country go to trial. A competent Dallas motor vehicle accident lawyer at our firm will assess your case and let you know your odds of being more successful going to trial versus achieving a quick settlement.
CONTACT A DALLAS TEEN ACCIDENT LAWYER AT OUR FIRM.
We believe that legal representation should be available for all regardless of one’s financial standing. Our lawyers work on a contingency basis which means we get paid only after having secured a favorable outcome in the case on your behalf. No legal fees until you have been compensated for damages suffered.
If you or your loved one has been injured due to the carelessness or negligence of a teen driver, or you are the parents of a teenager involved in a car accident, you deserve to be duly compensated for the injuries suffered and other damages. Call an experienced Dallas car accident lawyer at our firm for a free case evaluation right away.