Young, inexperienced drivers are at high risk of causing motor vehicle accidents that can result in serious injuries to themselves or others. If you have been injured by a teen driver, you need the help of a Lansing teen driver accident lawyer. Our Lansing car accident lawyers at White Law PLLC can help you obtain the compensation you deserve for the injuries you sustained in your teen driver accident.
When Teens Can Drive in Lansing
The State of Michigan adheres to a graduated licensing system. Under this system, new teen drivers must meet certain requirements to progress from a learner’s license with restrictions to a standard license with full driving privileges. An overview of Michigan’s graduated driver licensing is as follows:
- Level 1: Drivers must be at least 14 years and nine months old. They must complete a driver’s education course and be supervised by a parent or licensed driver at least 21 years old. They are required to complete 50 hours of supervised driving, ten of which must be at night.
- Level 2: Drivers must be at least 16 years old, having completed additional classroom education and a successful written exam, and with no accidents or violations for 90 days. Their driving hours are restricted to the period between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. Further, they can only drive with one passenger under 21 years old.
- Level 3: Drivers must be 17 years old and have had their level 2 license for at least six months. They cannot have any accidents or driving violations for 12 consecutive months. This level has no driving restrictions.
This graduated licensing policy allows teen drivers to gain experience behind the wheel with safety precautions in place to reduce their risk of accidents. However, experience does not eliminate teen driver accidents. If you have been involved in an accident caused by a teen driver, you may be eligible to collect compensation for any injuries you sustained and should contact a personal injury lawyer in Lansing to discuss your options.
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Risk Factors for Teen Driver Accidents in Lansing
According to the Michigan State Police (MSP), 60% of accidental deaths of 16 to 20-year-olds are due to motor vehicle accidents. In fact, car accidents are the leading cause of death for this age group. Teen drivers are four times more likely than adults to be involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents for the following reasons:
The State of Michigan reports that motor vehicle accident rates peak in the first six months of a teen being licensed to drive without supervision. The highest collision rates in Michigan are found with 16- and 17-year-old drivers. They are unable to identify and react to potential risks on the roadways.
Driving with Passengers
Passengers are often a distraction for teen drivers. The State of Michigan reports that the chances of a teen driver being involved in a motor vehicle accident increase by 50% with just one passenger in their vehicle. This collision risk increases by almost 400% with three or more passengers.
Distracted driving increases all drivers’ risk of motor vehicle accidents; however, teen drivers are especially at risk of collisions because of their general inexperience in handling potential dangers. Teen drivers are most often distracted by passengers and cell phone use. Nearly 40% of teens say that they text or email while driving, which increases their risk of an accident by 23 times.
Driving at Night
The State of Michigan says that teen drivers are three times more likely to be involved in fatal accidents at night than during the day. This could be because of driving while tired or alcohol use. This higher rate of nighttime collisions is why Michigan places limits on the hours during which new teen drivers can operate motor vehicles.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is dangerous for all drivers. However, teen drivers’ use of such substances, combined with their inexperience, substantially increases their risks of motor vehicle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 19% of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes had been consuming alcohol.
Driving without a Seatbelt
Seatbelt use is important for all drivers, as it reduces the chance of injuries or fatalities in motor vehicle accidents. However, teens are less likely to use seatbelts. A study by the State of Michigan shows that 58% of teen drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents were not wearing seatbelts.
The above risk factors, coupled with inexperience, increase the chances of teen driver accidents. If a young person was responsible for your accident, a teen driver accident attorney in Lansing, MI can help you obtain compensation for your damages. Our personal injury lawyers at White Law PLLC can investigate your collision and determine who may be responsible for making you whole for your losses.
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Liability in Lansing Teen Driver Accidents
Teen driver accidents in Lansing are largely treated like any other car accident. There are a few circumstances involving malicious and willful harm in which a parent or legal guardian will be held liable for damages resulting from their teen’s motor vehicle accident. However, this type of parental liability is rare.
In most accidents, teen drivers are covered under their parent’s insurance policy once they become licensed drivers. Because Michigan is a no-fault state, however, you must file a claim with your own insurance company regardless of who was at fault for your teen driver accident. Your mandatory Personal Injury Protection Coverage (PIP) will cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and any other expenses you have related to your accident, up to your policy limits.
If you have damages that exceed your PIP policy limits and any other optional coverages you may have, you may be able to file a claim against the teen driver’s insurance company. You should contact a Lansing teen driver accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to discuss additional options for obtaining compensation for your injuries. Negotiating with insurance companies can be difficult, and you should not communicate with them on your own.
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Get Help from a Teen Driver Accident Lawyer in Lansing
If you were hurt in a collision caused by a teenager, you need the help of an experienced teen driver lawyer in Lansing. We can investigate your collision, determine who was liable, and negotiate with, or file a claim against, the insurance company to get you maximum compensation for your damages. Schedule a free consultation with our Lansing car accident attorneys at White Law PLLC as soon as possible after your teen driver accident so we can begin working to get the justice you deserve.
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