An 18-year-old California teen lost his life and five of his classmates were injured Friday afternoon when the pick-up they were riding in ran off the road and rolled several times down a 150 foot embankment. One of the injured teens is in critical condition with a spinal injury; the other four teens suffered moderate injuries. According to the California Highway Patrol, the crash is still under investigation.
This auto accident is a reminder that inexperience driving, coupled with distractions, can greatly increase the risk of a serious or even deadly accident.
A study by the AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed that nearly 60% of teen crashes involve distracted drivers. The most common distractions are interacting with passengers, using a cell phone to talk or text, and looking at something in or around the vehicle such as the radio or a billboard. In fact, loud conversations and horseplay between passengers are bigger distractions than technology. This is a main reason many states issue graduated, first-time licenses that restrict the number of youth passengers with a teen driver. The graduated system helps young drivers by limiting these high-risk driving situations, increasing adult supervision and extending the educational requirements of the novice driver.