Austin Car Accidents Involving College Students
In college towns such as Austin, the home of the University of Texas, the large population of young, inexperienced drivers increases the risk of car accidents. Young drivers are more likely than older, more experienced drivers to cause car accidents.
Many young college students are also learning about drinking and life on their own for the first time. They may make the mistake of getting behind the wheel when their driving capabilities are impaired.
Innocent drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists or others injured in a car accident caused by a college student should know that they have legal recourse to obtain compensation for their injuries. In many cases, college students are still covered by their parents’ auto insurance, which should provide for injured parties.
In certain circumstances, such as cases of drunk driving, third parties may be held liable for the harm done in a college student’s car accident.
The Bob Richardson Law Firm can pursue insurance payments or other compensation if you were injured in a car accident caused by a college student in Austin or elsewhere in the surrounding areas of Texas. Our attorneys have more than three decades of experience helping car accident victims and their families through personal injury and wrongful death claims for compensation they deserve.
Contact us now for a free claim review and information about your legal rights.
College Students and Car Accident Risks
Many college students are responsible young adults. But like adults of any age, some are not always as responsible as they should be. Their negligence may cause others harm, particularly if their negligence results in a car accident.
College Parents of America says as many as 70 percent of college-age students own or have access to cars. The organization advises that whether to permit a student to have a car at school, particularly in the freshman year, is a decision that should be carefully weighed.
“For many students, the first year of college is a year of exploration – and of testing and defining limits,” the organization says. This includes the limits of drinking and the need for sleep as students stay up late “studying, partying, or just socializing.”
Statistics show that young adults are more likely than older drivers to engage in drunk driving and fatigued or “drowsy” driving.
In one recent year, 28 percent of drivers up to age 20 who were killed in car crashes had blood-alcohol concentrations (BACs) of 0.01 percent or higher, and 24 percent had BACs of 0.08 percent (the legal limit) or more, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says.
The highest percentage of drivers in fatal accidents who had a BAC level of 0.08 percent or higher was among drivers age 21 to 24, at 32 percent. Among all states, Texas had the highest number of alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities, with 1,296.
Adults between 18 and 29 are much more likely to drive while drowsy compared to other age groups, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) says. Students who also work are more likely to be fatigued. And, says the NSF, those who live in urban areas, like the University of Texas area of Austin, are more likely to doze off while driving compared to people in rural or suburban areas.
College-age drivers are also more likely to engage in distracted driving, such as texting while driving. Drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes, NHTSA says.
Liability for College-Age Drivers in Accidents
College students are young adults and, when they act irresponsibly and cause harm to others, they should be treated like adults. This includes being held financially liable for injuries their negligence causes other people.
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident caused by a college student, you may be able to obtain compensation from the student’s auto insurance coverage or coverage that is held by his or her parents. In some circumstances, if a student’s parents are divorced or otherwise live apart, there may be multiple policies that can be accessed. In cases of severe injuries or disability, the parents’ other assets may become part of an accident victim’s claim for restitution.
If a student was drinking and alcohol impairment caused an accident, it is proper to look at where the alcohol was obtained and whether the supplier has liability. Texas’ social host liability is limited to teens age 18 or younger, but our state’s dram shop law says those who sell alcohol to intoxicated or underage customers may be held liable for harm their customers later cause due to their intoxication.
After a car crash involving a college student, a Texas car accident attorney from The Bob Richardson Law Firm can help you determine whether you can pursue compensation for your injuries.
Contact an Austin Car Accident Attorney for Help
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a college-age driver, it may be more complicated than usual to pursue an insurance settlement if the driver’s parents hold the policy. There may be third parties who are liable as well.
The Bob Richardson Law Firm will strive to cut through the red tape to identify liable parties and insurance carriers in your accident.
Our attorneys have worked tirelessly for car accident victims and their families throughout Austin, Waco and surrounding Texas communities for more than 30 years. Call us now or fill out our online form for a free discussion about how we can help you.