You face an array of risks every time you get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. These risks include the potential for mechanical defects, severe weather, or driver error. That said, the negligence of other drivers is arguably the greatest risk you face behind the wheel. When that other driver is a teenager, the odds of a motor vehicle accident increase dramatically.
Teen drivers often lack the experience needed to operate their vehicles safely. Given that they also lack the brain development of an adult, teen drivers are also prone to making bad decisions behind the wheel. These factors combine to make the chances of an accident with a teen driver much higher compared to adult motorists.
If you have sustained injuries in a collision with a minor, an Atlanta teen driver accident lawyer might be able to help. Call the Bader Scott Injury Lawyers at (404) 888-8888 right away to discuss your options.
Teen Driver Accident Statistics
When it comes to the risks associated with teenage drivers, the numbers do not lie. From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we learn that car accident fatalities are the main cause of teen death. In 2017, roughly 300,000 teenagers received emergency room services for car accident injuries while 2,364 died that same year.
The CDC also reports that accidents involving teenage drivers are typically more severe. Even though teen drivers between the ages of 15 to 19 only account for 6.5 percent of the total population, this age group is responsible for roughly 8 percent of all car accident damages, which comes to around $13.1 billion in total accident costs.
For a free legal consultation with a teen driver accidents lawyer serving Atlanta, call (404) 888-8888
Georgia Age Requirements for Drivers
Recognizing the higher potential for car accidents when teen drivers are involved, the state legislature has adopted strict licensing requirements for younger drivers. These requirements include a series of different permits and licenses that allow teens to drive but restricts their privileges more than adult drivers. The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) sets out a graduated licensing program that transitions teenagers from learning permits to full driving privileges.
Atlanta residents can begin driving at age 15 on a limited basis. The first step requires an applicant to obtain a learner’s permit. To get a learner’s permit, a teen driver must pass a knowledge test covering road signs and rules. A teen with a learner’s permit may only drive when in the car with a person at least 21 years of age that holds a valid driver’s license.
The second step in the licensing process requires a teen to obtain an Intermediate Provisional License. Also known as a Class D license, this step is for drivers between the ages of 16 to 17. After one year of holding a learner’s permit without committing any major traffic violations, a teen driver can obtain a Class D license. A Class D license bars driving between the hours of 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. It also includes limitations on where they can drive and whom they can have in their vehicle.
The third step in the process is the full license. Known as a Class C license, a teenager who has completed the first two steps can obtain a full license once they reach 18.
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Common Factors in Teen Driver Accidents
Despite the extensive licensing requirements teens must face before they can drive, the fact remains that teen drivers are more likely than adults to cause an accident. Some of the most common factors in teen driving accidents include:
- Texting while driving
- Eating while behind the wheel
- Talking with passengers
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving aggressively
- Violating traffic laws
- Grooming while driving
Regardless of the specific factors leading up to the crash, you have the right to discuss your case with an Atlanta teen driver accident lawyer. Reach out to Bader Scott Injury Lawyers right away to learn more. Call (404) 888-8888 today.
How the Family Purpose Doctrine Could Impact Your Claim
Drivers injured in a collision with a teen motorist may have more legal options compared to other states due to a legal theory known as the family purpose doctrine. In Georgia, it is possible in some cases to pursue compensation against a minor driver’s parents following a car crash under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) § 51-2-2. This option is important, as a teenager’s parents are more likely to have the assets and insurance coverage needed to cover your damages.
Not every parent is automatically responsible for the actions of their teenager, however. As the Georgia Court of Appeals explained in the case of Hicks vs. Newman, the doctrine does not apply merely because a teenager operated a vehicle owned by their parents. However, a parent who maintains a vehicle to allow their minor children to use could face a negligence claim following an accident.
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How an Atlanta Injury Attorney Could Help
The injuries resulting from a car accident with a teen driver have the potential to alter your life forever. If you sustained injuries due to a teen driver’s carelessness, you are entitled to seek compensation.
Taking on a personal injury claim against a teen driver can be more complex than most accident claims. Thankfully, an Atlanta teen driver accident lawyer with Bader Scott Injury Lawyers is here to help. To discuss your case with a member of our team, call us at (404) 888-8888 right away to schedule an initial consultation.