Learning to drive is a rite of passage, but it can also be a dangerous endeavor for young drivers. Recent data from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation showed that teenage drivers are three times more likely to be involved in fatal car accidents. Wisconsin and Minnesota are particular hotspots for teen car crashes. The teenage crash rate in these two states is above the national average.
Recent Teen Car Accidents
Here are two examples of car accidents that resulted in teen fatalities:
An 18-year-old boy was killed when his car ran off the road and rolled over in western Minnesota. The accident, which took place in June, happened when his SUV veered into a ditch and he was ejected from the vehicle. The teen had recently graduated from high school and was not wearing a seatbelt.
In October of 2016, a 16-year-old driver died when another car veered into her lane, causing the teen to swerve and crash in Troy, Wisconsin. The teen died at the scene of the accident. The 22-year-old Minnesota woman who caused the accident was recently charged with homicide by vehicle. Someone who witnessed the accident said they saw the Minnesota woman with both hands on her cell phone. She was driving while distracted.
Teens Likely to Drive Distracted
Distracted driving is a contributing factor in six out of 10 teen car crashes (in addition to the adults who drive distracted, as in the Troy accident described above), according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). Cell phone use — specifically, texting while driving — is a common driving distraction. Some cell phone users also check Facebook, Instagram, and other social media apps while stopping at lights or even while driving. Any type of phone usage while driving is a dangerous distraction.
Other examples of driving distractions include:
- Eating and drinking, digging through your purse or wallet,
- Changing the radio station or temperature or messing with other car fixtures,
- Checking your GPS,
- Looking at the view or at an accident on the side of the road,
- Doing your makeup, and
- Talking to passengers.
What Should I do if I am Injured in a Car Accident?
Make sure you seek medical attention immediately if you are injured in a car accident. Then contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help determine if you have a viable cause of action. Keep in mind that both Wisconsin and Minnesota have statutory time limits for filing a personal injury lawsuit. The statute of limitations in Wisconsin is three years from the date of your accident. The statute of limitations in Minnesota is six years from the date of the injury.
Contact Us Today
If your teenager has been injured or killed in an automobile accident, or if you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a teenage driver, contact the personal injury attorneys at Bye, Goff & Rohde today for a free consultation. We can help you recover the compensation that you deserve, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.