The leading cause of death among American teenagers is motor vehicle accidents. Most car collisions involving teens are preventable, but many young drivers ignore safety rules, putting themselves and other motorists at risk.
Each year, nearly 2,400 teenagers aged 16-19 are killed, and more than 300,000 suffer injuries in auto accidents in Iowa and other parts of the country. A recent fatal car crash that claimed the lives of two high school students in Council Bluffs has reminded of the dangers for teen drivers.
If you or your teenage child were in an auto collision, contact a Council Bluffs auto accident attorney to determine the cause and prove the other party’s fault.
Two High School Students Killed in a Car Crash in Council Bluffs
As reported by The Daily Nonpareil, two high school students were killed in a road crash south of Council Bluffs. The accident occurred in the area of Pioneer Trail and Humbolt Lane after 1:20 p.m. this past November.
The two victims, both boys, were Lewis Central High School students. Their auto accident involved a pickup truck and a car. Investigators have yet to determine the factors that caused the fatal vehicle crash.
Causes of Teen Driver Car Accidents
Causes of auto accidents involving teenage drivers range from the lack of experience and speeding to alcohol use and distracted driving. Let’s review the most common factors associated with teen driving accidents in Iowa and elsewhere in the U.S.
- Lack of experience. Studies have shown that teen drivers are less likely than adults to use good judgment and recognize dangerous situations. These critical decision errors can lead to devastating crashes.
- Exceeding the speed limit. Teenage motorists are more likely to exceed the speed limit than their older counterparts.
- Seat belt use. Despite efforts from lawmakers and safety advocates aimed at increasing belt use, seat belt use among teens and young adults is the lowest compared to other age groups.
- Drunk driving. Statistically speaking, teenage drivers are more likely to get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol than other age groups. In fact, more than half (58%) of drivers in the 15-20 age group who were killed in car crashes across the U.S. were drunk at the time of the crash. The same statistics show that nearly a third of these drivers were speeding at the time of the accident.
Liability in Auto Accidents Involving Teenage Drivers
When a teenage driver causes an auto collision that leads to injuries, that driver’s auto insurance will cover the costs associated with your injury. However, if the teenager was driving his or her parent’s vehicle, the parent’s insurance coverage may apply to cover the damage.
In Iowa, car owners are liable for collisions caused by their vehicles unless someone stole the car. But what if the teen’s parent says that their child did not have permission to use the auto? In that scenario, the parent would have to report to the police that their child stole the car. However, even in that situation, the parent may still be liable.
Regardless of whose car insurance coverage – the teen’s or parent’s – is applicable in your situation, you may be entitled to recover damages such as medical expenses, property damage to your vehicle, loss of income, and other losses.
Contact a Council Bluffs auto accident attorney from Telpner Peterson Law Firm, LLP, to negotiate a fair settlement with the teen’s or their parent’s insurance company Call at 712-309-3738 to determine the value of your personal injury claim.