Teenagers Excessively Speeding
For years, vehicle accidents have ranked as one of the top causes of death for adolescents. The statistics vary because crashes are part of the broader category of unintentional injuries, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes car crashes as a major issue for teens. Collisions caused by teen drivers are also a significant cause of other driver and passenger deaths and injuries. Many of these accidents are due to teenagers excessively speeding – sometimes significantly over the limit. Teenagers might also engage in drag raising, speeding in excess of 90 mph, or follow another vehicle too closely.
No matter how smart and careful a teen driver is, they’re still more likely to speed, not wear their seatbelts, become distracted, and ultimately get into accidents. It’s a byproduct of inexperience, under-developed brains, and peer pressure.
If you were hurt due to an accident caused by a teenager’s speeding, contact a Chicago car accident lawyer from Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. right away. Like any other driver, teens are required to be insured. You’ll have to negotiate with their insurer for an appropriate settlement or take the teenager to court.
For a free consultation regarding your case, call us today at (312) 236-2900.
Going fast in a car can be addictive. You feel powerful when you’re moving down a long, empty road, and it seems as if nothing in the world can stop you. But what many teens can’t fully understand is that when you’re speeding, a lot can stop you. Ultimately, speeding can hurt or kill you or someone else.
According to the CDC, teen drivers are more likely to speed and leave a smaller distance between them and other vehicles. They’re also more likely to underestimate the danger in a situation and not recognize a hazard. Teens may not recognize how quickly they come upon a red light. They may misjudge the distance between them and a vehicle crossing their path. Whatever the exact hazard, teens are less likely than older drivers to slow down and behave cautiously behind the wheel.
Considering these facts, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that in 2013, 2,163 teens between the ages of 16 and 19 were killed, and more than 243,000 were treated at a hospital because of car accidents. Additionally, thousands of other individuals are hurt and killed because of teen’s driving each year.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), excessive speed is an issue in about one-third of all fatal crashes involving teens. Excessive speeding is generally known as driving more than 15 or 20 miles above the speed limit. This is a considerable amount. Consider a teenager moving 45 mph in a neighborhood with a speed limit of 25 mph. Or what about on roads with 50 mph limits? Teens could driving 65 mph on an inner-city road with traffic, stop lights, bicyclists, and pedestrian crossings.
Teen Speeding Scenarios
There are a number of reasons why teenagers are caught speeding while behind the wheel. Maybe they want to look cool in front of their friends. Or perhaps they simply lost track of how fast they were traveling. Some common scenarios that cause teenagers to excessively speed on the road are:
- Distractions – It isn’t just speeding that causes teen car crashes. Many teenagers aren’t aware of the dangers of distractions that can arise while they are driving. They don’t hesitate to take a sip of water, text a friend, sing along to music, or turn to have a conversation with their friend in the passenger seat. Unfortunately, distraction and speeding are a deadly combination. Safe driving takes a great deal of concentration. Every driver must pay attention to the road and other nearby cars, keep their hands on their steering wheel, and take notice of what their feet are doing. Any distraction means takes a teen’s attention away from the road, meaning they’re less likely to notice a hazard.
- Drinking – Many teens don’t fully understand the risks of impaired driving. Despite the fact that teens shouldn’t be able to drink or take drugs, many do. Some of these teens get behind the wheel a night of partying with friends. When anyone drives impaired, they’re less able to concentrate on the road, look out for dangers, and react when problems arise.
- Bad Weather – Adolescents don’t cause inclement weather, but they can make the choice to speed during it. Moving faster than the speed limit is always illegal, but doing so while it’s raining, snowing, and foggy is even more dangerous. Rain and snow can reduce the traction between the tires and the road, making it more likely a teen can’t stop. Fog can drastically reduce visibility, which means a speeding car won’t be able to stop by the time the teen sees brake lights in front of them.
- Loss of Control – Not every car crash involves multiple vehicles. In many situations, teenagers who excessively speed lose control over their vehicles and are involved in single-vehicle crashes, according to the IIHS. At higher rates of speed, it becomes much harder for anyone to accurately and safely control a vehicle. A tiny movement at 75 mph can affect a car’s trajectory much more than the same small movement at 30 mph. At high rates of speed, hazards arise in the blink of an eye and there’s no time to avoid them.
Aggravated/Excessive Speeding Law in Illinois
Illinois law states that anyone found to be driving more than 26 but less than 35 mph over the speed limit is guilty of a class B misdemeanor. Anyone driving more than 35 mph over the speed limit is guilty of a class A misdemeanor. Under the law, this is a very serious offense.
If convicted of this moving violation, a teenager can lose their license for a period of time, face jail time, and have to pay fines. This can affect a teenager’s ability to obtain employment, be accepted to college, approved for federal student aid, or to achieve a professional license. If the college, job, or loan application is electronic and asks for a yes or no answer regarding this type of conviction, an adolescent can be automatically disqualified without room for an explanation. Additionally, their insurance rates will surely go up.
Contact a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer for Help
Most teens have their license and get behind the wheel before they can truly comprehend that a vehicle can be a weapon. If you were hurt because a teen was speeding, call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. right away. Teenagers are just as responsible for their actions behind the wheel as adults, and you deserve to be compensated for your injuries. We have experience negotiating settlements for car accident victims, and we’re ready to fight for fair you to receive the compensation you deserve.