Teen drivers in California face an elevated risk of car accidents. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, traffic accidents are more common among 16- to 19-year-old drivers in our state than any other age group.
Many factors increase teens’ susceptibility to car crashes, including:
- Lack of skill. Because teens are just starting to drive, they lack many of the driving skills needed to predict and avoid emergency situations. A teen may thus suffer an accident in a situation that an older driver could have predicted and avoided.
- Poor hazard detection. Teens’ brains are still developing – particularly in the pre-frontal cortex, which manages skills, like detecting and predicting hazards and emergencies and deciding how to act to avoid them. When combined with a lack of driving skill, this developmental stage can further increase the risks teens face on the road.
- Risk-taking behavior. Teens tend to take more risks than older drivers, particularly when they have excessive confidence in their driving abilities. Speeding, tailgating, running red or yellow lights, and making illegal turns are more common among teens – and more likely to cause a crash.
- Unsafe driving practices. Teens may wear seat belts less often, try to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or carry extra passengers or be distracted by their passengers, all of which increase the risk of a serious crash.
At Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP, our dedicated San Jose car accident attorneys can help you with every step of the post-accident process, from filing insurance paperwork to holding negligent parties accountable in court. For a free and confidential case evaluation, contact us today at (800) 900-0863.