According to CBS Miami, the boy was just 16 and was driving with a learner’s permit. Florida’s graduated driver’s license program, which means that in order to legally operate a vehicle, he had to be seated next to a 21-year-old licensed driver. However, his two passengers were also 16-years-old and were also fellow students at Southwest Senior High School. Neighbors said the impact of the collision sounded like, “a bomb.” The teen driver’s car plowed into a BMW, driven by a mother and her 4-year-old daughter. The mother and girl suffered serious injuries. They were transported to the hospital, as were the three teens in other other car.
The case underscores how perilous and vulnerable teen drivers are, especially in the early stages of driving and most especially when they drive with passengers who are also teens. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that compared to having no passengers, teen drivers 16 and 17 who had just one passenger under the age of 21 were 44 percent more likely to be killed in a crash. Having two underage passengers doubled the risk of the teen driver being killed. Three or more underage passengers quadrupled the fatality risk.
On the other hand, having at least one passenger over the age of 35 decreased the 16- and 17-year-old drivers’ risk of a fatal crash by 62 percent.
These are important statistics to consider ahead of summer, which tends to be associated with a higher instance of teen crashes.
Teens in general are more likely to be involved in a crash than other drivers. The AAA Foundation reported that just in 2013, nearly 3,000 people were killed and another 372,000 injured in crashes involving at least one teen driver.
We are fast approaching what is considered the “100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers, which span from Memorial Day to Labor Day. During this time frame, an average of 220 teen drivers and passengers die in traffic accidents during the summer, which represents a 43 percent uptick compared to the other seasons.
The good news is that non-fatal injury collisions and fatal crashes involving teen drivers have fallen substantially over the course of two decades – both by more than 50 percent. Comparatively, injurious and fatal crashes involving adults fell too, but only by 25 percent. That means awareness matters. Parent involvement matters. Graduated driver’s license laws matter.
But this crash out of Miami shows how far we still have to go.
Recently, the Modesto Bee reported on the tragic case of an Oakdale, California student who survived a texting-and-driving teen auto accident in 2006. She wrote extensively about it for a senior project. But almost one year to the day of that collision, she died in another distracted driving accident. Police said she was reportedly arguing with a friend via text message.
Research has shown that teens are 12 times more likely to crash when they reach for a phone to check a text message and 16 times more likely when they actually respond to that text.
The NHTSA report teen drivers are the most likely to be distracted, and motor vehicle accidents are the No. 1 cause of teen deaths.
If you have been a victim of a traffic accident, call Chalik & Chalik at (954) 476-1000 or 1 (800) 873-9040.
Police: Teen Driver Runs Stop Sign, Causes Violent Crash, May 12, 2016, By Ted Scouten, CBS Miami
More Blog Entries:
Fort Lauderdale DUI Car Accident Proves Fatal for Two, May 2, 2016, Miami Car Accident Lawyer Blog