Getting a driver’s license is an important rite of passage for teenagers. It allows them greater freedom and independence, but it also carries major responsibilities. Car accidents in Portland involving teenagers have the potential to leave them and other motorists on the road with serious and potentially life-threatening injuries. Unfortunately, lack of experience and reckless driving behaviors are often to blame when these types of crashes happen.
Reckless Driving Puts Teens and Other Motorists At Risk
Young people between the ages of 16 and 19 are the age group most likely to be involved in car accidents. They are also those most likely to suffer severe consequences as a result. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents are the second leading cause of death among teens, claiming the lives of more than 2,500 young people each year and leaving close to 300,000 others suffering potentially disabling injuries.
Statistics from the CDC show that male drivers 18 and under are at particularly high risk, especially when they have passengers in their vehicles. In general, young people are more likely to want to show off and impress their friends by engaging in reckless driving behaviors, such as:
- Speeding and going too fast for conditions;
- Racing other vehicles;
- Running red lights and stop signs;
- Tailgating other motorist and failure to yield;
- Distracted driving;
- Driving under the influence.
A recent fatal car accident in Portland highlights the danger teens can pose to both themselves and others on the road. According to a December 2020 article in KGW8 News, two people were killed after their vehicle was struck by an 18-year-old male driver in an intersection on Northeast Halsey Street and 162nd Avenue. Video surveillance tapes show that speed was the likely cause of the crash.
Driver Inexperience an Issue for Teen Drivers
Even when teens are cautious and resist engaging in reckless driving behaviors, their general lack of experience in driving increases their car accident risks. They are less likely to be aware of precautions they should take when encountering adverse weather, heavy traffic, or potentially dangerous road conditions. They are also less likely to respond appropriately when unexpected situations happen, such as skidding or having another driver pull out in front of them.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warns parents not to rely solely on driver education classes in teaching teens what to do while on the road. To protect them and other motorists they are likely to encounter, follow these tips:
- Model good driving behavior for your teen;
- Limit the times of day they can drive and the distance they travel;
- Limit the number of passengers they can have in the vehicle;
- Suspend driving privileges if they get a ticket or cause a fender bender.
Let Us Help You Today
At the Johnston Law Firm P.C., we help victims in car accidents get the compensation they need to recover from their injuries. To request a consultation, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland car accident attorneys online today.