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The Leading Causes of Car Accidents Involving Teenage Drivers

The Leading Causes of Car Accidents Involving Teenage Drivers

Getting a driver’s license for many teenagers marks new independence and a step into adulthood.  Sadly, not all young drivers act responsibly on the road with their new freedom. As a result, teens are often more prone to being involved in an accident than older, more experienced drivers.

In fact, the months between Memorial Day and Labor Day are notoriously called the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer” due to teens being out of school and driving around more frequently. Unfortunately, deadly crashes historically climb during the dangerous time between May and August and studies by AAA reveal a strong correlation with these statistics and teen drivers’ deaths from crashes during the summer months.

Read on to learn about the leading causes of car accidents involving teenage drivers.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving involves driving while doing any type of activity that takes your attention off the road and your ability to properly operate a motor vehicle.  More than 58% of car accidents that involve teenagers are the result of distracted driving.

AAA found an average of 1,022 people died each year in crashes involving teen drivers, based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Due to lack of experience, teens are more vulnerable to distractions while driving a motor vehicle.  There are many different forms of distracted driving such as texting and talking on the phone, playing with the radio, eating, or applying makeup in the mirror. No matter the distraction, anything that diverts your attention from the road can have dangerous results. Especially in California traffic, taking your eyes off the road for only a few seconds can result in a major accident.

Teens driving with friends in the car are also more likely to be distracted.  Research shows that the likelihood of a teen driver being distracted while driving with several passengers increases three times compared to them driving solo.  The risk of being involved in a fatal crash rises in correlation to the number of teenage passengers in the car.

Cell Phone Use

Most states, including California (2017), have initiated bans on texting and driving.  Unfortunately, drivers do not always comply with these laws, especially young and inexperienced teen drivers.  In a recent study, 50% of teen drivers admitted to making and answering phone calls while operating a motor vehicle and 34% of teen drivers admitted to texting while driving.

Texting and driving not only takes your attention away from driving but also takes your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road, leaving a lot of room for a major mistake to occur.

Driving Under the Influence

Underage drinking, as well as driving under the influence, is illegal and can result in deadly consequences. Driving under the influence can be an impairing substance of any kind – including illegal, over-the-counter, and prescription drugs. Statistics show that teens are more likely than individuals in other age groups to be killed in alcohol-related car accidents.  A report in 2016 showed almost one out of every five teenage drivers involved in a crash that ended fatally had been drinking and driving under the influence.

DUIs have serious penalties for drivers and can result in injury or death of passengers or those in other cars. If you have been the victim in a car accident where the driver was drinking and driving, contact us today to see how we can assist you.

An experienced attorney can help you get compensation for things like:

  • Medical bills
  • lost wages
  • pain and suffering
  • transportation costs
  • rehabilitation
  • and more


Speeding is a major problem among teen drivers. According to a recent study, 32% of fatal car accidents involved a teenage driver speeding.   It is crucial that young and inexperienced drivers learn to manage the speed of their vehicle depending on the weather, traffic, and road conditions.  A small increase in speed, such as 10 mph over the designated speed limit, can almost double the distance and time it is needed for them to make a complete stop.

Attorneys at The Barnes Firm strongly urge teens, as well as adults, to employ safe driving methods such as:

  • Always pay 100% attention to the road while driving
  • Never use a mobile phone while driving, unless you are completely stopped and pulled over
  • Avoid speeding – it gives you less time to react and increases the severity of the accident
  • Always be extra cautious of other drivers. Unfortunately, you cannot control others’ driving, awareness, or if they are impaired
  • Buckle up
  • Keep a 2-5 second cushion between you and the driver in front of you
  • Ensure your mirrors and seat are adjusted before you begin driving
  • Never drive under the influence
  • Don’t eat and drink on the roads
  • Always expect the unexpected (impaired drivers, deer crossing, car accidents or rubble that may block the road, etc)
  • Use caution when changing lanes


If you or a loved one believe you’ve been injured because another driver was distracted, under the influence, or simply practicing careless driving, contact the experienced car accident lawyers at The Barnes Firm.  We will have our car accident lawyers investigate your claim and help you get the compensation you deserve.

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