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Tragic Asheville Car Accident Illustrates Summer Risks for Teens

As parents, our hearts go out to the families dealing with the fatal Asheville car accident that claimed the lives of two teenagers and seriously injured five others, as the Asheville Citizen-Times reported.

But as Asheville personal injury lawyers we know too well the dangers teens face during the summer driving season. Mothers Against Drunk Driving calls it the 100 Deadliest Days. And the National Safety Council dedicated the week of June 12 to June 18 to Teen Driving Safety.In this case, two 18-year-old teens were killed in the crash — one had just graduated from Reynolds High School on Saturday. Five others were taken to Mission Hospital for treatment of their injuries. The crash happened near Deer Run Court. Police say wrecks occur frequently in that area, where the winding, narrow road lacks shoulders.

MADD reports 9 of the 10 deadliest days of the year for teen drivers fall between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Now is the time to speak with your teenager about the risks of being involved in a serious or fatal car accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers ages 15 to 20.

AAA statistics report 6 of the 10 deadliest days for teen drivers occur during the summer. Regardless of who’s keeping the stats, one thing is certain: It’s time to talk to your teenager about the importance of making good driving decisions.

“Life feels more care-free when school’s out and teens have more opportunities to drive or ride in cars late at night with other teens – a deadly mix,” said regional AAA Adviser Lori Cook. “The majority of the most dangerous days occur during the traditional summer vacation months so parents must realize that there is no summer break from safety. Be vigilant, remain involved and enforce driving rules with teens.”

More than 7,300 teen drivers died in summer accidents from 2005 to 2009 — an average of more than 400 each month. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports 219 motorists died in North Carolina car accidents involving teen drivers in 2009.

AAA offers the following driving tips for parents and teenagers:

-Restrict Driving: Eliminate trips without a purpose. Teens are three times more likely to die in a car accident than other drivers and the risk is highest during the first year behind the wheel. Limiting driving during the first year makes good sense.

-Be a Driving Coach: Studies continue to show that teens who have significant parental coaching are better drivers than those without. Coaching should continue even after a teen gets his or her license. Parents should continue to practice more complex driving scenarios, including heavy traffic and poor weather conditions.

-Limit the number of teen passengers: Teens continue to be the most distracted drivers on the road. Allowing your teen to ride with more than one passenger increases his or her risk of being in an accident. Those ages 16 to 19 are at five times greater risk for an accident when riding with two or more passengers.

-Restrict Night Driving: A teen is at twice the risk of an accident when driving at night. More than half of crashes occur between 9 p.m. and midnight.

Establish a parent-teen driving agreement: The agreement should clearly spell out the expectations and the consequences for violating the rules of the road.

If you or a loved one is involved in an accident, contact the North Carolina injury attorneys at Grimes Teich Anderson LLP. Call 1.800.533.6845. No Attorney Fees Until You’ve Been Paid.

Additional Resources

Two Asheville Teens Die in Crash, by Sabian Warren, Asheville Citizen-Times.

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