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All Press Releases for January 11, 2014 »
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Tragic NYC accident shows that teen drivers can be held criminally responsible for crashes

Teenagers are brand new to these hazards and driving and haven't gained the skills to prevent many accidents.
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    January 11, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- It probably isn't surprising to hear that teenagers are responsible for causing a large portion of accidents across the country - resulting in about 30 percent of car accident victims' medical costs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Car accidents are the major cause of death and injury for U.S. teenagers themselves, accounting for more than 2,000 deaths and 200,000 injuries each year. Driver inexperience is the main reason for so many accidents, but other factors, including risk taking, distraction and intoxication, are common among young drivers.

For most parents in New York and throughout the country, teaching a teenager to drive is a stressful milestone. More experienced drivers have learned the most difficult aspects of driving, such as being able to detect and avoid dangerous situations, making quick decisions to keep from causing an accident, night driving and navigating bad road and weather conditions. Teenagers are brand new to these hazards and haven't gained the skills to prevent many accidents. Additionally, some teens choose to drink and drive or to get in the car with someone who has been drinking.

The consequences for careless driving can be tragic and life-changing

Many teens don't take into account the fact that their actions can permanently affect their lives, and the lives of others. This example was painfully brought to light recently, after a tragic accident that took the life of a 4-year-old girl, reported the New York Post. Last June, the girl's grandmother was walking her to school in New York City, when a 17-year-old unlicensed driver of an SUV hit the pair, sending the grandmother to the hospital and killing the little girl. The driver fled the scene of the accident, but was later charged and pled guilty to manslaughter and assault. He faces up to 15 years in prison.

Teens influenced by their friends

Naturally, parents will want to keep their teenagers from getting in trouble with the law, as well as injuring themselves or others. Kids often want to show off for their friends, or choose not to wear their seatbelts, potentially resulting in accidents. State Farm has the following tips for parents to help encourage their kids to make safe driving decisions even before they're old enough to drive:
- Set a safe driving example, such as not speeding, tailgating or driving aggressively.
- Always wear a seatbelt and ensure passengers are wearing theirs before starting the car.
- Don't use a cell phone or drive while distracted.
- Don't drive while tired or angry.

Parents who consistently set a good example have a much greater chance of passing on their safe driving habits to their children, especially if they set rules and communicate their expectations to teens before allowing them to drive.

Contacting an attorney

There's always the risk of getting into an accident, even when you're taking all precautions to drive safely. If you've been involved in an accident caused by a careless teenager, you have rights that may include being compensated for your injuries. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to find out more.

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