DC Teen Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been involved in an accident with a teen driver you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries. Call today to set up a consultation with a DC teen car accident lawyer.
Teen Driving Risks in DC
Car accidents are the leading cause of death and injury in teens between the ages of 16 and 19, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA reports that approximately 5,000 teens ages 16 to 20 die in motor vehicle collisions each year in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that an additional 282,000 teens suffered injuries that required emergency medical treatment in 2010 alone.
One main reason that teens possess a higher risk of involvement in car accidents is that they possess a lesser ability to recognize or appreciate danger than older adults. Teens often speed, tailgate, drive under the influence of alcohol, or participate in other reckless driving behaviors that may lead to contact with a DC teen car accident lawyer. Specifically, NHTSA states that some key factors in teen car accidents include the following:
- Teenagers are the age group least likely to wear seat belts, especially as passengers. Over half of teen passengers killed in accidents were unrestrained at the time of the crash.
- About one-fourth of teen drivers who died in car accidents had a blood alcohol concentration over .08.
- Approximately 40% of teen crashes occur between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. Furthermore, 55% occurred over the weekend.
- The risk for teen car accidents increases with each additional teenage passenger in the car.
- Over half of drivers ages 16 to 19 admit to talking on the phone or texting while driving.
Because of the tendency of teenage drivers to speed, tailgate, get distracted, or drive recklessly, incidences of serious or fatal injuries in DC teen car accidents are particularly high. If you or your child has been injured because a teen driver was acting in a negligent manner, you deserve to be compensated for any related medical expenses, lost income, or other losses you suffered contact a DC teen car accident lawyer.
The Effects of Stricter DC Teen Driving Laws
The number of teenage car accidents has decreased over the past decade, in part because of a change in driver’s licensing laws across the United States. Changes in teen driving laws have mainly aimed at limiting distractions, preventing accidents at night, increasing driver’s education, and creating a graduated driving program that gives teen drivers their privileges incrementally.
In fact, Washington, D.C. has become the safest place for teen drivers in the United States, according to the first U.S. News & World Report rankings on the subject in 2010. This is mostly attributed to D.C.’s graduated driver’s licensing program, which the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) calls GRAD (Gradual Rearing of Adult Drivers). GRAD is meant to ease young people ages 16 to 21 into the responsibilities of driving. The steps of GRAD are as follows:
1. Learner’s Permit: Drivers must be at least 16 years old; pass a written test; have parental permission, if under the age of 18; and may only drive with a licensed driver over the age of 21 in the car.
2. Provisional license: Drivers must be at least 16 years and 6 months old; have a learner’s permit for at least six months with no violations; have 40 hours of driving practice with a licensed driver over age 21; and pass a road skills test. Drivers at this stage may drive alone; however, they have restricted driving hours (for example, they are restricted from night driving); may only have one passenger, who must be licensed and over 21 or a parent or sibling; must wear a seat belt at all times; and may not text or use a cell phone (even a hands-free device).
3. Full license with conditions: Drivers must be at least 17 years old; have a provisional license for at least six months with no violations; and have at least 10 hours of practice driving at night with a licensed driver over the age of 21. Additionally, drivers under 18 may only have two passengers under 21, and driving hours are still restricted for drivers ages 17 and 18.
The District of Columbia takes teen-driving safety very seriously and the laws aim to create safe, responsible drivers by limiting their rights until they prove themselves. Hopefully, the statistics regarding DC teen car accidents continue to show improvements in accident prevention and safety.
Additional Safety Tips for Teen Drivers
Aside from following the law, the Washington, DC DMV provides the following tips for teenage drivers to remain safe on the roads. Some basic safety tips include:
- Learn how to check the lights, fluids, tires, and other car parts to make sure they are in working and safe condition.
- Regularly clean off your windshield, windows, and mirrors for good visibility.
- Properly adjust your mirrors and seats before driving.
- Always make sure that you and all of your passengers wear your seat belts.
- Do not speed or tailgate.
- Use appropriate turn signals.
- Follow all other traffic laws, signs, and signals.
- Do not drive if you are fatigued or sleepy.
- Never drive if you have been drinking or taking drugs—including certain kinds of over-the-counter medicines that may make you drowsy.
Hiring a DC Teen Car Accident Lawyer
A teen car accident lawyer in DC can assist you in gaining the compensation you deserve. Call today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case with an experienced DC teen car accident lawyer.