For most teenagers in Pennsylvania and all across the U.S., one of the most thrilling things about reaching the age of 16 is obtaining the right to drive a car. Although Pennsylvania teens must complete driver education and at least 65 hours of supervised driving until they have the complete freedom of driving a vehicle, it does not change the fact that auto accidents are a leading cause of death among teenagers between 16 and 20 years of age.
Fact: Teenage boys are twice as likely to cause a fatal car accident compared to female teen drivers.
Fact #2: When teens drive with teen passengers, the risk of causing a car crash doubles for both male and female teen drivers.
Fact #3: One in four teens will get into a car accident within the first year of obtaining a driver’s license.
“Unfortunately, teenage drivers are more likely to underestimate the risks associated with such dangerous driving behaviors as speeding, running red lights, distracted driving and drunk driving compared to their adult counterparts,” says a Pittsburgh teen driver car accident attorney at Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman.
In Pennsylvania, the most common type of auto accident involving teenage drivers in the 16-21 age group is crashing into a fixed object (tree, guardrail, building, utility pole, traffic sign, etc.). In fact, this type of car accident accounts for the highest number of fatalities among teen drivers in Pittsburgh and all across Pennsylvania.
Drunk driving accounts for 12 percent of the total teen driver accident fatalities, while distracted driving is responsible for 10 percent of fatalities in the 16-20 age group.
But who is responsible when a teen driver causes injuries to another driver or passenger in a car accident? Our experienced teen driver car accident attorney Pittsburgh explains that more often than not, teenagers in Pennsylvania are covered under their parents’ insurance policies when they obtain a driver’s license or learner’s permit.
If a teenager is insured and causes or contributes to a car accident, the insurance company has a legal duty to defend and indemnify the teenager. However, many insurers in Pennsylvania fail to defend and indemnify the insured, which may potentially expose them to a bad faith action.
Our Pittsburgh teen driving accident lawyer warns that you will not be able to hold parents liable for the negligent driving of their children in 100 percent of all situations. Generally, a parent of a teenager can be held responsible for a teen driver car crash if he or she knew or should have known through reasonable diligence that his/her child is an incompetent or reckless driver, has a problem with substance abuse or distracted driving, or if the child was driving a vehicle as part of running errands for his or her parents.
However, if a parent can prove that the teenager used his or her car without permission or a parent does not have custody of the child (for example, after a divorce), that parent will most likely not be held liable for the car crash caused by the teenager. Also, parents can escape liability by refusing to sign the application for their child’s driver’s license or reporting to appropriate authorities that they withdraw their support.
If you or someone you love was injured in an auto accident caused by a teenage driver, do not hesitate to contact our skilled teen driving accident lawyer in Pittsburgh to help you hold the teenager’s parent liable for the accident. Being able to hold the parent responsible for the car crash caused by a teenager can maximize the value of your claim. Contact Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman to schedule a free consultation. Call our offices at 888-98-TWINS(89467) today.