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Dennis Byrd, Former NFL Player, Killed in Car Accident

November 01, 2016

Dennis Byrd, Former NFL Player, Killed in Car Accident

Recently, Dennis Byrd, a celebrated former New York Jets Player, died in a car accident near Tulsa, Oklahoma. Byrd is remembered not only for his time in the NFL, but also his continued perseverance in the face of a serious injury. Four years into his NFL career, Byrd suffered an on-field injury that left him paralyzed and ended his professional career. Byrd did not let his injury stop him; less than a year after the accident, he learned to walk again.

This inspiring football player and individual was killed at the age of 50 while traveling along a country highway. Officials report that Byrd was driving on State Highway 88 outside of Tulsa when a Ford Explorer traveling in the opposite direction suddenly veered into oncoming traffic and hit Byrd's vehicle head-on. Byrd was tragically declared dead at the scene of the accident. The 17-year-old driver of the Explorer suffered serious injuries in the crash, as did his 12-year-old passenger. Local authorities continue to investigate the cause of the accident, while family members, NFL players and fans, and the public mourn the loss of a truly exceptional person.

Fatal Teen Car Crashes on the Rise

This fatal car accident involving a teen driver occurred just days after the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) released a report indicating that teen involved crash deaths spiked ten percent in 2015. Teen drivers are nearly twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash than adults, and 18 to 20-year-olds are now more likely than younger teens to cause a fatal accident. This is the first increase in fatal teen car accidents since 2006, and the agency is recommending State Highway Safety Offices along with teen driving advocates to take swift action to reverse the negative trend.

To target older teens, the Governor's Highway Safety Association is suggesting that states expand the Graduated Driver Licensing programs to include all drivers under the age of 21. Currently, a large percentage of teens are not obtaining their license until they are 18 years of age or older, allowing them to skip graduated licensing steps. Other ideas involve mandatory classroom hours for all novice drivers, regardless of age, and increased parental guidance for new drivers.

Parent of Teens Can Help Prevent Fatal Crashes

The parents of teenage drivers play an important role in ensuring their children drive in a safe and reasonable manner. Parents can help by doing the following:

  1. Ride with your teen: The more you ride with your young driver, the better chance you have of catching troubling behaviors. Regularly ride with your teen, even after they are licensed, to guide and enforce good driving.
  2. Limit passengers: Having passengers in the car greatly increases the risk of accidents for teen drivers. Do not allow your teen to drive with friends until they can be trusted and are allowed under Georgia's graduated licensing laws.
  3. Create a parent-teen driving agreement: Be sure to discuss the rules of the road with your new teen driver, why it is so important to follow them, and consequences for breaking the rules. Draft a parent-teen driving agreement that sets out important rules and consequences, then have your teen sign off on it. 

Put Our Law Firm's Over 39 Years of Legal Experience to Work For You!

Anyone injured in a car accident in Georgia should contact our car accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates to discuss their legal rights and the actions necessary to protect those legal rights. Our car accident attorneys serve injury victims throughout Georgia and in the Southeast. Contact us to schedule your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

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Category: Accident News

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All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.