If your teenager has a car crash, you might assume it was their fault. You may even feel guilty, thinking you should have waited longer before letting them drive alone.
The crash might have been their fault, but there is a good chance it was not. The other driver may, however, try to use your child’s age against them, and unfairly blame them for the wreck.
How often do teenage drivers crash?
Each day around seven teenagers die, and over 700 end up in the hospital due to crashes. Driving takes time and practice to master. It involves skills such as physical coordination, spatial awareness, concentration and anticipation. Unfortunately, the only way to acquire those skills is by driving on the road. Practicing in a parking lot can never replicate the complexity of traffic.
Even if your teenager crashed a few hours after passing their test, it does not mean they were to blame, however. As drivers gain experience, they adopt bad habits. Here are some reasons the more experienced driver may be at fault:
- They were on the phone while driving: Nervous new drivers are too busy gripping the wheel and staring straight ahead to use their phones. As drivers gain more experience, they relax, recline their seats, take one hand off the wheel and believe they are able to multitask.
- They were speeding: Many experienced drivers do not even look at their speedometer — unlike a teen, who is probably anxious about a ticket (and parental wrath).
- They had been drinking: Drinking and driving may be standard in an older person’s peer group. Teenagers grow up hearing it is wrong (and have less opportunities to obtain alcohol).
If your child is injured in a car crash, avoid jumping to conclusions or accepting other people’s versions of events. A thorough investigation can help you get to the cause of the crash and claim the compensation your child needs.