Earlier this week a tragic auto accident in Texas claimed the lives of five teenagers. Traveling in an SUV with four other young passengers, a 16-year-old boy failed to stop at a stop sign and collided with a tanker truck. The collision proved fatal for everyone in the SUV and caused serious injuries to the tanker driver.
This sort of tragically fatal auto accident has become all too common in recent years for young drivers both on Texas roads on streets and highways across the entire nation. The wreck comes hot on the heels of new data recently released that outlines the elevated risk that teen drivers pose, both to other motorists and themselves.
Thanks to improved automobile design, safety laws, and education the rate of American traffic fatalities has been in a steady decline over recent years. However, incidents involving young drivers, particularly those between the ages of 16 and 19, have gone in the other direction. In 2010 roughly 2,700 teens were killed in auto accidents-more than seven each day-and over 282,000 injuries were recorded in similar collisions.
The figures, released by the National Center for Health Statistics, note that 16-19-year-old drivers are three times more likely to be caught up in a fatal crash than older, more experienced motorists. Here in Texas, 187 teens were tied to a fatal crash in 2010.
Experts in the field of roadway safety have recommended stricter texting behind-the-wheel laws, as well as an overhaul of many states’ graduated licensing programs. However, until these and other safety measures are improved, it appears inevitable that teen drivers will continue to pose a serious threat to all those on the road-themselves included. Such a collision may be rightful grounds for a personal injury suit or wrongful death case. Working with a personal injury attorney in these times of tragic upheaval can help open the road to restitution and closure.
Source: CNN, “Fatal wrecks underscore risks for young drivers,” Tom Watkins, Mar. 13, 2013