William Long Whitesell, L.L.C.

Teen accidents linked to numerous factors

Teens are high-risk drivers. It's just a statistical fact -- and often a tragic one. For example, for kids between 14 years old and 19 years old, nothing takes more lives than car accidents.

It's not enough to point out that teens crash far more often than they should, however. It's important to look into the reasons why. What studies have found is that the whole thing can be rather complex, as there is often a web of factors that all work together. Some of these include:

  • Distractions, such as cellphones.
  • A serious lack of experience behind the wheel.
  • Overconfidence, despite that lack of experience -- or perhaps because of it.
  • Poor judgement and decision-making skills.
  • Peer pressure.
  • Brain development. The part of the brain that is in charge of impulse control doesn't develop as quickly as the part that controls reward-seeking behavior, so teens' brains simply are not developed enough for them to be safe and make wise choices.

In many cases, numerous factors all come into play before the accident.

For instance, a teen driver may have friends in the car. He or she would like to pull over and send a text message, but the driver fears ridicule from his or her friends. The brain fears this -- even though it's a nonissue -- more than the actual danger of a car accident. The inexperienced driver then makes the poor decision to send the text while driving, doesn't see a stoplight and causes an accident.

Those who are injured in these accidents could be facing high medical bills. They must know what legal rights they have to financial compensation.

Source: Huffington Post, "Driving Young, Driving Distracted," Daniel V. McGehee, accessed Oct. 19, 2017

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