A pair of unrelated car accidents over the weekend left two teenage drivers dead and at least two others injured, according to North Carolina Police. The first accident occurred during the afternoon of Saturday, January 31st near Pilot Mountain in Surry County. The fatally injured driver was only 17 years old and was on his way to his local high school to play a basketball game.
The next accident took place in Buncombe County during the evening of Sunday, February 1st. This incident involved a 16-year-old driver who did not have her driver’s license, but was none the less transporting at least two passengers in her car. Police believe the unlicensed teenage driver lost control of her vehicle around a curve before crashing into a tree. Tragically, none of the teenagers in the car at the time were wearing their seatbelts, resulting in one of the 17-year-old passengers suffering fatal injuries.
While police have so far ruled out factors such as alcohol or texting while driving, speed is believed to have been a factor in both accidents.
It is no secret that drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 face a significantly higher risk of being injured in car accidents as compared to most other age groups. In fact, more teenagers die nationwide each year due to car accidents than any other cause. However, there are some basic safety precautions that all parents should discuss with their teenage drivers before handing over the keys:
- Wear Your Seatbelt! : This rule is obvious for most parents and older drivers, but teenagers are at a higher risk of developing bad habits when they first get on the road. According to data collected by the North Carolina Department of Transportation for the year 2012, 57% of teenagers that were fatally injured in car accidents were not wearing a seatbelt. Compare this to only 32% for drivers aged 50 to 59 and it becomes clear how age and experience on the road contributes to better safety habits.
- Keep Your Phone Off: In 2012, nearly a quarter (23.2%) of all reported crashes in North Carolina “involved a driver that was distracted.” Many parents will attest to the fact that their teenagers can sometimes seem inseparable from their phones and mobile devices, but using this technology while behind the wheel can be deadly. Studies have shown that sending a text message while traveling at a speed of 55mph is roughly equivalent to driving the entire length of a football field while blindfolded.
- Drive the Speed Limit: This is another basic rule of the road that can make a huge impact on the lives of teenage drivers. Statewide in 2012, an estimated 12,245 car accidents involving teenage drivers listed speed as a significant factor. The accidents that left two 17 year olds fatally injured over the weekend are both believed to have occurred at least in part due to excessive speed.
- Don’t Drink and Drive! : This rule applies to all divers equally, but it is always best to instill the proper habits and attitudes in the minds of young drivers. For this reason, Daggett Shuler North Carolina Personal Injury law firm has worked hard to spread awareness among teenagers about the dangers of drinking and driving. Our Safe Sober program has already encouraged over 400,000 North Carolina high school students to pledge to abstain from drugs and alcohol during their prom nights, and we will continue our efforts to help young drivers make responsible decisions.
North Carolina’s roads and highways can be intimidating and even dangerous places for teenage drivers. However, with the help of parents, the community, and State officials, we can help instill the proper safety habits in the minds of North Carolina’s young drivers. Get started early and talk to your kids about these basic driver safety habits before they take their driver’s license test.
If you or a loved one are injured by a reckless, irresponsible or intoxicated driver, you may be entitled to compensation. The North Carolina Auto Accident and Personal Injury attorneys of Daggett Shuler law have seen first-hand the pain and suffering a car accident can cause. For this reason, we are committed to representing victims that were injured in an accident that was not their fault.
Call the experienced, dedicated North Carolina attorneys of Daggett Shuler law at 1-800-815-5500. When you call, you can speak with an attorney and review the details of your case for FREE. We will work with you from the start of your case through to the finish to make sure you get the proper compensation to which you are entitled. When injured, make one call to Daggett Shuler.
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