NTSA Data and Young Driver Crashes
In April 2014, the National Transportation and Safety Administration (NTSA) released the most recent federal data on young driver accidents. According to NTSA, there are approximately 211.9 million licensed drivers in the United States. Young drivers (defined as those between 15-20 years old) make up about 6 percent of the total number of US drivers. However, they make up approximately 13 percent of all drivers involved in police-reported crashes.
In 2012, there were 1,875 young drivers between the ages of 15-20 years old who died in motor vehicle crashes in the United States. This equates to approximately 9 percent of all fatal crashes. An additional 184,000 young drivers were injured during the same period.
Eleven percent of all single-vehicle fatal crashes involved a young driver, compared to eight percent in multi-vehicle fatal crashes.
Also in 2012, thirteen percent of all crashes reported to police involved young drivers. This was a two percent increase from the previous year.
Among young drivers involved in fatal crashes, almost 20 percent did not have a valid license (652 invalid compared to 3,611 valid). Of those who did not have a valid license, 29 percent (192 out of 652) also had previous license suspensions or revocations at the time of the crashes.
While young drivers were the cause of some crashes, young people also were the victims of other young drivers. In 2012, there were 317 fatalities in crashes involving young drivers. Of these, 46 were passengers in young driver vehicles, 95 were occupants in other vehicles, and 56 were non-occupants.
Negligence Claims For Car Accidents Involving Young Drivers
Most Florida car accident lawsuits are governed by the law of negligence. This means that someone failed to use the level of care that a reasonably careful person would use under the same circumstances. When this lack of reasonable carefulness causes injury to another, damages can be awarded for the injury.
Every car accident lawsuit is different and the facts needed to prove the case will vary. However, some of the common causes of young driver crashes include:
-Poor hazard detection—not recognizing environmental conditions or situations that create a driving danger;
-Low risk perception—underestimating hazardous situations and overestimating ability to avoid identified threats;
-Risk taking—engaging in high risk behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, running red lights, violating traffic signs and signals, making illegal turns, dangerous passing, and failing to yield to pedestrians;
-Lack of skill—not having mastered basic vehicle handling skills and knowledge;
-Distracted driving—including carrying passengers, listening to music, eating, or doing other things that cause lack of focus;
-Night driving—which reduces visibility and may occur when young drivers are tired; and
-Alcohol or drugs— which can affect the skills of young drivers more than older drivers who have equal concentrations of alcohol or drug in their systems.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a young driver, it is important to have help when gathering the facts and someone to assist you with being financially compensated for your losses. At Fasig & Brooks, we are results-oriented and we use our years of experience to help you move forward after being injured or suffering a loss. Please call or text us at (850) 222-3232 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. If you are not able to come to our Tallahassee office, we are available for home and hospital visits; just let us know what you prefer.