What Causes Student Driver Car Accidents?

Posted on: February 15, 2024

Learning to drive is a rite of passage for American teenagers. The first step is obtaining a learner’s permit. Naturally, student drivers make mistakes, and some mistakes are serious enough to cause an accident. Who is liable in this situation and what happens depends on the accident’s circumstances, such as if it happened while practicing with a family member or during a driving lesson with an instructor.

All new drivers need to have car insurance while they are learning to drive. Students with parents who drive are usually eligible for coverage under the family’s existing insurance policy. If a student driver with a learner’s permit causes a car accident, they can be held responsible for any damage caused, and the family policy would cover the damage.

If the student driver was participating in a lesson with a driving instructor and the student caused an accident, the instructor may share fault for the accident if it could have been prevented via dual controls. The instructor is supposed to intervene to prevent accidents from happening when possible.

If the student driver were participating in a lesson with a driving instructor and caused an accident by driving recklessly and intentionally disregarding instructions from their teacher, liability would likely rest with the student.

If a driver with a learner’s permit is driving alone in a vehicle and causes an accident, besides being liable for damages, there will be consequences for driving without another licensed adult driver in the car – a violation of the rules for learner’s permits. It could mean that the insurance company will refuse to cover the accident, the permit could be suspended, and fines issued for violating the rules.

New Jersey has a graduated driver licensing (GDL) program to help reduce the risk of teen accidents. The program’s first stage is the learner’s permit; the second is an intermediate license, and the third is the full license. Teen drivers have the highest rate of accidents of any age group. This is primarily due to inexperience and underestimating dangerous situations, but other factors can play a part, too. Teens are vulnerable to peer pressure, which may lead to these common causes of student car accidents:

  • Speeding: Studies show teens are likelier to speed and tailgate than older drivers. A male teenage passenger’s presence increases teen drivers’ risk of speeding.
  • Distracted driving: New drivers need to learn to focus on the road and the act of driving. Many teens are used to having constant access to technology and are tempted to text or use their cell phones while driving.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol: Many teen parties feature the recreational use of drugs and alcohol, which should never be mixed with driving.

Our Hazlet Car Accident Lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova Fight for Injured Car Accident Victims

Our Hazlet car accident lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova help accident victims recover compensation for their injuries. Call 732-705-3363 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney. From our offices in Hazlet and Highland Park, New Jersey, we represent clients in Ocean County, Sussex County, Neptune, Middlesex County, and Pennsylvania.