Orange County High School Mourns Yet Another Death of a Teen Driver
According to CBS Los Angeles, a 16-year-old high school student is one of Orange County California's most recent fatal car crash victims. The accident occurred when the driver of a car, with three passengers, was following friends in another vehicle on Silverado Canyon and Santiago Canyon roads in Silverado, when a deer ran into the road. The driver of the car in front slammed on his brakes, and the car behind it ran off the road, hit a tree and flipped over. The 16-year-old victim was ejected from the car. Her friend, a passenger, allegedly urged her to put on her seat belt, but the victim refused, and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officers found beer at the scene, and the driver of the second car was subsequently arrested for felony Driving Under the Influence and felony vehicular manslaughter. He was taken to the hospital and treated for major injuries, but is expected to survive.
Officials at Irvine Unified School District explained that they planned to seek out those who may have personally known the victim, as well as others who were "hard hit" with her passing, and provide assistance to them as they dealt with her death. This is the second recent vehicle-related fatality involving Irvine High School students, as four others were killed in an accident in Newport Beach last May.
Teen drivers are at a higher risk for vehicle-related fatalities
The Century Council, an organization of distillers fighting drunk driving and underage drinking, reports that drunk driving fatalities caused by underage drinkers have declined drastically from 1991 to 2011, citing a 57 percent decrease. Still, they report that despite declines in the number drunk driving fatalities among young people, more than three people under the age of 21 die each day, on average, in car crashes involving alcohol.
The Century Council reports that drunk driving is the leading cause of death for teenagers, and urges parents to adopt a zero-tolerance policy for drinking and driving, by doing the following:
- Inform your teen that it is illegal in every state for someone under 21 to drink any amount of alcohol and then drive.
- Encourage your teen to have a plan regarding what they should do if they aren't comfortable with their ride home.
- Agree that if your teen is somewhere and their only option to is to be in a car with a driver who has been drinking-including themselves - they should call you and there will be no punitive consequences.
- Teach them about ways to be a safe driver and avoid distractions.
If you or a family member has been involved in a car crash, seek the assistance of an experienced attorney, who can explain your rights, and help determine if you might be eligible to recover for your injuries or property damage. Contact the Law Office of Marshall Silberberg to request a free consultation with an Orange County car accident lawyer.