hands holding a steering wheel

Getting a driver’s license or a learner’s permit is a huge milestone for many teenagers in Georgia, but getting behind the wheel for the first time also kicks off a major learning curve. 

The unfortunate reality is that teenage drivers are nearly three times as likely to be involved in a fatal car accident than more experienced drivers. Even with education programs, accidents are bound to happen as young drivers discover what it takes to safely operate a vehicle in busy traffic. 

With that said, seeking compensation after an accident in Georgia can help you access the financial resources you need to recover, and the attorneys at Gautreaux Law are here to help you do just that. See how we can help your car accident claim by scheduling a free consultation with us today. 

Why are teenagers more likely to be in car accidents?

It makes sense that inexperienced drivers are more likely to end up in an accident than people who have been driving for decades, but a lack of experience isn’t the only risk factor for teenagers. 

Below are some of the other reasons why young drivers experience a higher rate of car accidents:

Speeding or Aggressive Driving

A recent study indicated that nearly 43% of drivers ages 16 to 18 engaged in speeding regularly, compared to the 30% considered average for the general population. 

Speeding is one of the most common causes of collisions and car accident fatalities in the United States. High speeds make it hard for drivers to react quickly enough, which is particularly dangerous for drivers without a lot of experience; on top of that, speeding also makes collisions far more serious when they do happen. 

Distracted Driving

It’s easy to point to a teenager who always seems to be on their phone, but that behavior doesn’t always stop when they get behind the wheel; nearly one in three teens admits to routinely texting while driving. 

Distracted driving is another leading contributor to car accidents. Looking away for even a second can cause drivers of any age to miss an important cue or change in traffic, but given that teens lack experience on the road, they’re even more likely to cause a wreck if they take their eyes off the road. 

Driving Under the Influence

As teenagers experiment with substances like alcohol, they may make poor decisions regarding driving. Some teens choose to drive under the influence to avoid being caught drinking by their parents, ultimately putting themselves and others at serious risk. 

Failing to Wear a Seat Belt

While failing to wear a seat belt won’t necessarily cause a wreck, it can significantly increase the severity of one. One survey showed that nearly 43% of teenagers fail to buckle up whenever they enter a vehicle. 

Even if you’re traveling a short distance, remembering to wear a seat belt can significantly reduce your odds of being in a fatal car accident. 

Are teenagers always at fault?

Though teenagers are at a higher risk of being involved in a car accident, they are not always at fault; other drivers are just as capable of making mistakes, so if you are a teenager who has recently been in an accident, keep these tips in mind:

Try to Stay Calm

It’s hard to relax when adrenaline is coursing through your body after an accident, but it’s important to try to keep a clear head. Take a deep breath, get to a safe location, and try to handle the next steps as calmly as possible.  

Call 911

The first thing you should do after an accident, even if it doesn’t seem severe, is call emergency services. 

Inform the operator if anyone is injured. They can dispatch an ambulance with medical professionals to provide immediate care. Police officers will also arrive to investigate the scene, including collecting drivers’ information and witness statements. 

In addition, now is also the time that you may want to call a parent or guardian who can offer additional support and guidance. 

Avoid Giving a Statement

As a new driver, you may feel like you did something to cause the accident, even if that isn’t the case, but immediately and incorrectly admitting fault will make it challenging for you to file a claim even if the other driver is responsible for the wreck. As you’ve likely heard plenty of times on TV, anything you say can and will be used against you. 

Collect Evidence

Start by gathering contact information from the other driver, including the name of their insurance company and phone number. Then, if it is safe to do so, take photographs of the scene. Pay attention to the damage to the cars, the license plate numbers, and the road conditions.

Teenage Car Accident Attorney

Whether a teenager or an experienced driver, you deserve justice for any car accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Navigating the claims process and negotiating a fair settlement isn’t always easy, but that’s where the attorneys at Gautreaux Law can help. 

For over 20 years, we have helped individuals throughout Georgia obtain the compensation they deserve after vehicle collisions and other accidents. Our legal team is committed to providing compassionate and personalized services that take the stress out of recovery. 

If you’re ready to speak with a car accident attorney, contact us today to schedule your free consultation.