Personal Injury Lawyers
Roanoke & Southwest Virginia

The Biggest Risks for Young Roanoke Drivers

car accident attorneysParents in Roanoke, Rocky Mount, Franklin County and Southwest Virginia need to be aware that this time of year is one of the most dangerous for young drivers. There are many events at this time of year, including prom, graduation, spring break, and summer break. All of these events frequently lead to teens driving around in cars without parents present.

An experienced personal injury lawyer knows that when there are many young people in a vehicle together, there is a significantly greater risk of a car accident. Parents should talk to their children not only about limiting the number of passengers in their own car while driving but also about not getting into cars driven by other teens when there are lots of passengers in the vehicle.

When a teen driver causes a motor vehicle accident, it is not only strangers who may have a legal cause of action if they get hurt. Passengers who are in a car with a young teen driver can also file a lawsuit to recover crash losses from the person who was operating the vehicle.

Teens with Passengers in the Car Are Dangerous

Police reports shed some light on teen driving risks, but often the information recorded by police after an accident is incomplete. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently conducted a comprehensive study of naturalistic data of almost 2,000 motor vehicle accidents nationwide involving drivers that were between the ages of 16 and 19. The goal of this study was to develop a better understanding of what happens in the moments leading up to a collision and of what kinds of teen driving behaviors are causing crashes.

The research revealed that some of the known distractions, like using a cell phone, are in fact an issue. The driver involved in a teen crash was estimated to be using a cell phone in around 12 percent of all accidents. The cell phone was visible and clearly being used in eight percent of collisions and cell phone use seemed likely in another four percent of accidents.

One of the most dangerous distractions, however, was not cell phones but was instead a focus on what passengers in the car were doing. Driver inattention was a contributing factor in 58 percent of total crashes studied involving teenage drivers, and interacting with passengers was one of the top two causes of driver distraction along with cell phone use.

In a total of 36 percent of the collisions that a teen driver was involved in, passengers were present. When passengers were in the car at the time of a crash, 84 percent were also between the ages of 16 and 19 like the driver. Less than five percent of passengers in a car with a teen driver who crashed were parents or other adults.

Both parents and teens need to understand these significant risks, as it is imperative that informed choices are made about whether a teen should be riding in cars full of friends over spring and summer break and others special occasions this time of year.

If you have been harmed, contact Davis, Davis, Davis & Davis, PC today at 866-434-1581 or visit to schedule a consultation.  Serving Roanoke, Rocky Mount, Franklin County and Southwest Virginia.  

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