Teenager in Fatal Text Messaging Accident During Her First Solo Drive
If you have a teenager who is 15 or 16, you are probably very familiar with the excitement and anticipation of your teen toward the prospects of obtaining his or her driver's license. While obtaining a driver's license and embarking on a teen's first solo trip may be exciting, it also can be a dangerous time. Teen drivers are far more likely to take risks like speeding, text messaging and drinking, which account for the bulk of serious car accidents that result in permanent injuries and loss of life.
A terrible tragedy this week provides a vivid reminder of these dangers. Savannah Nash, a 16-year-old, Missouri teen was on her first solo drive when she was involved in a fatal collision. According to law enforcement authorities, the young high school student made a left turn directly in front of a tractor-trailer that slammed into her vehicle at freeway speed. While the crash is still under investigation, the police have indicated that Nash was likely texting at the time of the fatal car crash. Her cell phone was found inside the passenger compartment with a composed but unsent text message. Our prayers and condolences go out to the parents and family of the victim of this heartbreaking tragedy.
When teenagers first start to drive, special restrictions like limits on transportation of passengers, prohibition on night time driving and universal bans on cell phones and zero tolerance alcohol laws are intended to protect teenagers from the immaturity of youth and inexperience behind the wheel. Unfortunately, these laws are simply not enough to protect teens from making devastating mistakes in judgment that can result in horrible injuries including paralysis, brain damage, amputation of limbs and even death. According to accident studies, approximately eleven teenagers die in text messaging-related crashes every day in the U.S. Further, cell phone use while driving accounts for nearly one-fourth of all car accidents in the U.S.
While teenagers are excited to start driving, many parents are equally anxious or worried by the potential danger their teen faces behind the wheel or even as a passenger in a vehicle of another novice teen driver. Although there is no way to completely reduce this risk, there are options that some parents may want to consider to discourage unsafe driving practices by new teen drivers, such as:
• Installing "apps" that disable a phone when traveling
• Using cameras inside a vehicle accessible via the Internet to monitor your teen's driving behavior
• Entering into a driving behavior contract with your teen
• Requiring that your teen turn off his or her cell phone when driving
• Discussing the risks of distracted driving, speeding and alcohol-impaired driving
• Limiting newly licensed drivers to only driving with another adult
• Strictly enforcing the graduated license limitations on passengers and driving at night
Sadly, none of these approaches can truly make teens safe, which can make high school and college years extremely stressful for parents.
If you are injured in any type of accident, our Georgia accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.