Woodland Hills car accident attorney Barry P. Goldberg has discovered what we already really know — Teen drivers are back on the road in force! Look out! As many families return from vacation and the school year gears up for most local schools, another yearly ritual returns as well— teen drivers and teen driver accidents.
This is not a scientific study (although I bet the statistics would bear this out!). In talking to local friends, neighbors and clients in and around Woodland Hills, I have discovered a chilling pattern. I casually bring up that the traffic is increasing this time of year. I mention that people are off vacation. I mention that harried parents are trying to get their kid to school on time, but are unfamiliar with the traffic patterns. I mention that kids are riding bikes and walking to school now. Surprisingly, the response I get is nearly universal—-“Yes, but look out for the teen drivers near the high school!”
Inevitably, I get comments like “one of them nearly ran me over while I was walking.” Or, how about, “Unbelievable! A mid-block U-turn in front of the high school” and “That kid turn left on a red light right in front of traffic”. My favorite is when people say stuff like “I avoid the high school at all costs” or even “Don’t be near the high school around lunch time, they fly out of there like bats out of hell!”
Regrettably, the insurance loss statistics are consistent with the anecdotes. The average new driver will be in an accident at a rate of 100%. That means that every teen driver is likely to be in an accident this year! For every teen that avoids and accident this year, there is another teen that has two accidents!
What can be done—especially, if it is not your teen driver? I recommend that hyper-vigilance be employed anywhere teen drivers might be present. Do not rely on traffic controls exclusively. Assume that an inexperienced driver will make a mistake and run that red light or make an imprudent turn. Further, never ever enforce your right of way with the expectation that a teen driver will yield. Never speed up through a yellow light and never gun it at a new green light. Make eye contact with the teen and do not be afraid to “beep” your horn, if necessary.
If you follow some of these key rules, you will avoid a crash with a teen driver and may even help the teen driver become a better and safer adult driver. If you are in an accident with a teen driver, contact an experienced car accident lawyer to assist in establishing liability.