Four young lives were cut short when the 17-year-old failed to negotiate a turn, lost control of his vehicle, and slammed into a tree. The vehicle was literally cut in half; the front and rear parts were loaded separately on a flatbed truck. All four deceased victims were passengers; the driver was the only survivor. It is unknown if speed or driver distraction played a role in this fatal accident. What is known is that teen was driving on a learner’s permit. Under New York law, drivers with learner permits are prohibited from driving unless accompanied by a supervising driver, age 21 or older, who has a valid license. So why was a 17-year-old driving on a learner’s permit with four teen passengers? Friends said his parents just bought him the 2012 Subaru Impreza for graduating early from high school; he was enrolled in college.
With National Teen Driver Safety Week October 14 – 20, 2011, it is an important reminder for parents to be prepared as possible to take on the necessary task of teaching your children how to safely navigate the first years of driving. When a teen is ready to take the road alone,
Parents need to take an active role from the time their teen acquires a permit through their first year of driving alone. Teens cause more auto accidents than any other age group. They are not only inexperienced, but their immaturity makes them more likely to take risks behind the wheel. A study shows that during the first month of unsupervised driving, teens are 50 percent more likely to be involved in an auto accident and twice as likely after driving for two years. The most common causes of teen auto accidents are:
- Speed and failing to slow down
- Failing to yield
- Lack of seat belt compliance
- Distractions (cell phone use, loud music, teen passengers, etc.)
- Alcohol and other risk-taking behavior
Teens need to understand that their carelessness behind the wheel puts them and others at risk. Driving is a privilege and not a right; laws are in place for a reason.
Lawsuit Financial encourages its readers to join in observing National Teen Driver Safety Week, Oct. 14 – 20.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. Mark Bello 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.