Robert A. Solomon, P.C.
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Summer sees peak in fatal accidents caused by teen drivers

Teens across the nation, including in Newark, are enjoying their time off from school. Summer vacation means sleeping in, spending time with friends and, for teens with driver's licenses, it means going to a summer job, the mall, beaches, the movies, parties or simply just driving around for the fun of it.

However, teenagers are inexperienced behind the wheel compared to older drivers and they often have a sense of invincibility -- that nothing bad could happen to them. This combination means that teenagers often cause car accidents, some of which are fatal. In fact, AAA dubs the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day as the "100 Deadliest Days." This is because, on average, this period sees a 17% uptick in fatal car accidents involving teen motorists.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, since 2014 during the "100 Deadliest Days" almost 3,500 people lost their lives in car accidents involving teen motorists. And, in almost two-thirds of these crashes, the person injured or killed was not the teen driver. The major contributing factors to fatal accidents caused by teen drivers are speeding, drunk driving and distracted driving.

Teen drivers have the same duty of care while behind the wheel as drivers of any age do, including the duty to drive reasonably under the circumstances. However, as these statistics show, teens often breach this duty of care. When this breach causes another person's death and causes the deceased person's survivors to suffer damages, it may be appropriate for the victim's survivors to pursue a wrongful death claim.

A wrongful death lawsuit may provide the victim's survivors with the compensation they need to cope with the many expenses that follow the death of a loved one, especially if the victim was the primary wage-earner in the family or if the victim's survivors are still minors.

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