When people think about the dangers of teenage drivers in Illinois, they’ve usually focused on the kids in their middle teen years (around 15 or 16 years of age). That’s because these newbie drivers are still trying to get comfortable with the idea of operating a vehicle and are therefore more likely to make some mistakes. But nowadays, many kids are simply opting to wait until their 18th birthdays so they don’t have to go through the hassle of having a provisional license. Some worry that this trend means that older teen drivers are just as inexperienced as the younger teens of days gone by.
It’s not clear whether driver inexperience was a direct cause of a head-on collision that occurred in Kane County earlier this month. On the afternoon of Wednesday, October 9, a 19-year old Aurora man was driving a 2001 Chevrolet west on Stearns Road in South Elgin. Near Randall Road, the car crossed over the median and slammed head-on into a 2009 Toyota traveling east. The driver, a 28-year old man, and his passenger a 57-year old woman with the same surname, had to be extricated from the vehicle by South Elgin firefighters and transported to nearby hospitals.
It’s unclear what exactly caused the auto accident. But it’s pretty apparent that the teenager will be held responsible for the head-on crash and the injuries to the two victims, who are both from Bartlett. Should they choose to do so, the Bartlett motorists could each file personal injury lawsuits against the 19-year old man. This could allow the plaintiffs to collect reimbursement for medical expenses, including ambulance charges, hospitalization costs, medications and treatments, and even future physical therapy sessions. They could also be awarded unearned wages from work absenteeism due to the auto accident, and perhaps even monetary damages for pain and suffering.