Teenage Drivers

Teenage drivers are involved in a disproportionate percentage of motor vehicles collisions in Massachusetts. Teenagers have less developed driving skills because of their age, and because of their age, a less skilled or developed prefrontal cortex.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the risk of accidents among teenage drivers is highest among 16 to 19 year olds than in any other age group. In a recent study, 33.9% of 16 year olds were involved in crashes, 18.4% of 17 years olds, and 14% of 18 year olds. Nationally 40% of teenager deaths are caused by motor vehicles.

There is also the issue of psychosocial maturity in teenage driving. While intellectual and cognitive capacity is at or close to adult levels, teenagers have ever changing psychosocial capacities. Those capacities include resistance to peer influence, impulsivity, future orientation and sensation seeking, according to the experts. This is because of the preverbal prefrontal cortex that is still under development in the teenage brain. This is simply a biological fact. While most teenagers understand this, at some level, a few become out of control and make mistakes, often causingMassachusetts wrongful death or serious personal injuries in Massachusetts.


Victims of teenage driving come in two categories: those that are in the vehicle with the teenage driver, and those that are in another vehicle.

We have many years of experience representing teenagers who are victims of their own friends’ negligence. Racing, texting, and speeding are among the causes of teenage negligence causing collisions. The complexities of resolving these cases can as complex as the relationships between and among the teenagers in the vehicle. As a result of those relationships, which may change over the time of the claim, we have to be especially careful to effectively represent the victims. We work with the parents, the teenagers, and secure the best result given the context of the relationships. While an 18 year old can enter into a contract to retain a lawyer, he or she should, as much as possible, have the advice of parents in working through an adult situation.

Those who are victims of a negligent teenager in another vehicle, usually can point to one of the following types of negligent driving in Massachusetts:

  • Drinking
  • texting
  • speeding

We have experience since 1985 in representing victims of negligent driving. With teenage driver defendants, there are many similarities to other motor vehicle cases, and there are some differences. We exploit the differences: deposing all of the passengers, often other teenagers, usually uncovers discrepancies, anxieties and parental concerns. Simply taking the deposition of the negligent driver often pushes his or her insurance company to understand how the negligence may have happened, resulting in a case resolving.


If you need a Boston attorney with experience in representing victims of Massachusetts teenager accidents, call Attorney Neil Burns at 617-227-7423. I have been a teenage driver, brought up children who were teenage drivers, and represented teenagers, their families and their victims.