Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. They account for more than one in three deaths among teens 16- to 19-years-of-age. Some teenage drivers lack the skills to maneuver through some roadway challenges. Teens also tend to ignore the need for wearing seat belts. These concerns go beyond teen drivers being inexperienced; they extend to distractions, speeding, reckless driving, impaired driving and more. What is thought as seemingly innocent – can be deadly.
A 16-year-old teen obtained his license on October 5, 2013. The next day he was rushed to the hospital in critical condition while the families of two friends mourned the death of their children. Investigators believe the driver was traveling 50 mph in a 25 mph zone when he lost control and hit a tree, killing two 15-year-old passengers.
A SUV burst into flames after the driver slammed into a gas tanker, killing the driver and four teenage passengers. Reports indicated that as the SUV entered the intersection, the oncoming truck smashed into its passenger side.
Six Ohio teens were killed when their SUV struck a guard rail and plunged into a pond. Two surviving teens said the 19-year-old driver was speeding and driving recklessly at the time of the accident. The deceased were not wearing seatbelts.
Three Indiana teenagers died when the drivers of two pickups ran a four-way stop and collided.
A two-vehicle auto accident resulted in the death of a 16-year-old girl who was thrown from the driver’s seat when an oncoming vehicle, driven by a 17-year-old teen, crossed the center dividing line and collided with her car. The girl was pronounced dead at the scene.
Why are teenagers more likely to cause accidents than other age groups? The answer lies in their driving behavior. Experts contend that inexperienced young drivers are more likely to engage in risky behavior while behind the wheel – exceed speed limits or attempt to beat the stoplight, and are less likely to recognize when their attention is being diverted from the road – texting or talking on the phone. They tend to underestimate the accident risk in dangerous situations and overestimate their capacity to deal with the threat. Let these deadly accidents serve as reminders of the perils of teen driving. We should not accept these deaths as something that cannot be prevented. It is important as parents, to set and enforce strict rules for new drivers and minimize risks. More work can, and should be done to save teen lives.
Mark Bello has thirty-six years experience as a trial lawyer and fourteen years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by a plaintiff involved in pending, personal injury, litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Member of Public Justice, Public Citizen, the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series—Mark Bello is also the CEO of Lawsuit Financial and the country’s leading expert in providing non-recourse lawsuit funding to plaintiffs involved in pending litigation. He is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.