Teen Rushing to School in Terrible Auto Accident

A teen driver has life-threatening injuries as a result of a terrible crash with a garbage truck. The accident happened just before 8 am on Friday morning in Spanaway when his Nissan 240SX crashed into the backside of a trash truck.

The vehicle trapped the 19-year-old Challenger High School student inside with a faint pulse and a major laceration. A local military member of the Special Forces, who had witnessed the collision, stopped to help. He immediately applied pressure to the teen’s wound and stayed with him until medics and first responders arrived.

According to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, the teen was traveling westbound on 208th Street East, and he had stopped behind a school bus that was picking up students. After the students boarded the bus, the teen legally passed it and quickly accelerated down the street.

A large garbage truck was stopped further down the roadway. The teen may not have seen it; there were no visible skid marks leading to the crash. The speed of the Nissan was enough to force the 26,000+ pound truck to move forward four feet at the point of impact.

Deputies believe the teen driver was rushing to school at the time of the collision, given the contents of his backpack. He was transported to an area hospital, where he required immediate surgery to save his life.  http://www.kiro7.com/news/local/police-teen-driving-to-high-school-critically-injured-after-crash-with-garbage-truck/686411318

Teen Drivers 3x more Likely to be Involved in a Fatal Crash

Teens have the highest crash rate of any group of drivers in the United States. Due to this fact, it’s not surprising that fatal accidents are on the rise among teen drivers. The Bad News: Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among US teens. The Good News: Most teen motor vehicle crashes are preventable.

An auto accident can occur for numerous reasons. Some of the most common reasons are speeding, distracted driving, intoxication (DUI), driver fatigue, and aggressive or reckless driving. The causes of every crash are unique to variances in the driver’s history and contributing factors.

Three Factors Common in Deadly Crashes for Teen Drivers:

  • Distraction: Nearly six out of 10 teen crashes occur as a result of distraction. The top distractions for teens include talking to other passengers in the vehicle and interacting with a smartphone.
  • Not Buckling Up: In 2015, 60 percent of fatal teen crashes occurred as a result of not wearing a safety belt. The risk of death or serious injury in a crash is significantly reduced by buckling up.
  • Speeding: Speeding is also a factor in nearly 30 percent of fatal crashes involving teen drivers. A recent AAA survey of driving instructors found that speeding is one of the top three mistakes teens make when learning to drive. http://newsroom.aaa.com/2017/06/new-teen-drivers-three-times-likely-involved-deadly-crash/

Set an Example for Young Drivers to Follow

Parents are the foremost influencing factor in educating young drivers about road safety and safe driving habits.  A director of state relations for AAA said, “It all starts with educating teens about safety on the road and modeling good behavior, like staying off the phone and buckling your safety belt”. This means parents need to have conversations early-on about what driving distractions are and how to avoid them.

Many parents set up parent-teen driving agreements that extend consequences for failure to make safe decisions behind the wheel. Follow this link for a ready-made agreement you can print off today.  https://www.cdc.gov/parentsarethekey/pdf/PATK_2014_TeenParent_Agreement_AAP-a.pdf

One of the most effective ways to avoid any kind of traffic mishap is to always be a defensive driver. It’s not a fail-safe method or approach to driving, but it improves the driver’s attention and focus on the road. As parents, we need to set the standards and expectations for our young drivers to emulate.

A Safe Ride

Most parents don’t realize that the most noteworthy threat to their teen’s safety is riding with or driving with a teen driver. The main reason? Driver Inexperience.  

Another factor to consider is vehicle choice for teen drivers. Studies done by the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) have analyzed crash statistics in the age-range of all drivers, the make and type of vehicles, and types of crashes. As a result, they’ve come up with recommendations for the choices of vehicles best suited for teen drivers and their families.

Four Main Principles Guide the Recommendations for Teen Vehicle Choice:

  • Vehicles with more powerful engines can tempt teens to test the limits. Therefore, young drivers should stay away from high horsepower.
  • Bigger, heavier vehicles protect better in a crash. The recommended list, therefore, has no minicars or small cars on it. The list includes small SUVs because their weight is similar to that of a midsize car.
  • ESC is a must. This feature helps a driver maintain control of the vehicle on curves and slippery roads, and therefore reduces risk to a level comparable to safety belts.
  • Vehicles should have the best safety ratings possible. At a minimum, that means good ratings in the IIHS moderate overlap front test, acceptable ratings in the IIHS side crash test and four or five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

A list of the safest and moderately priced vehicles can be found here:  http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/iihs-issues-recommendations-on-used-vehicles-for-teens-after-research-finds-many-arent-driving-the-safest-ones.

Why a Personal Injury Attorney?

If you have a teen driver, chances are you worry constantly about their safety. While the statistics are stacked against them personally, they’re also not immune to other people’s driving. Safe driving is no accident. We are all vulnerable to human error, especially on the road.

Insurance companies can and will attempt to settle teen driving crashes as quickly as possible to avoid paying out more of what victims are actually entitled to. It is never in your best interest to settle an auto accident claim without consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney first. Fielding Law Group knows the tactics many insurance companies use to save money on auto collision settlements.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by possible negligence or a distracted driver, call Fielding Law Group today for a free consultation with a member of our legal team. Our auto accident professionals will work hard to get you a fair and just compensation so you can recover and get on with your life. Remember–Don’t let an accident wreck YOU!

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