A 17-year-old finds himself facing multiple charges after he was involved in an accident that caused the death of two other teenagers. According to the State Highway Patrol the at-fault teen was racing another car driven by a 16-year-old. The second driver lost control and crashed into a tree, the 16-year-old driver and one of his passengers died. The other two passengers were taken to Duke Hospital with serious injuries
Unfortunately many young lives are lost every year in car accidents; it grieves me deeply to hear of such accidents, my condolences are with anyone impacted by this heartbreaking loss. Street racing is regrettably an all too common occurrence among young drivers. They don’t see the inherent risk, or countless variables that can cause an accident. For this reason states all over the country have begun enforcing strict street racing laws.
Consider the following stats from NHRA, compiled from a variety of national and state transportation agencies, and it's easy to see the answer is to take it to the track.
In 2001, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that police listed street racing as a factor in 135 fatal crashes. The total was up from 72 street-racing-related fatalities reported in 2000.
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, more than 800 citations for illegal street racing were issued in 2001.
In San Diego, where the street racing problem has been termed "epidemic," 16 deaths and 31 injuries were directly related to illegal street racing in 2001. The city's attorney's office prosecuted 147 illegal street racing cases in 1999, 161 in 2000, and 290 in 2001.
In Florida in 2001, 7,216 citations were issued for racing on the highway.
In 1999, the Florida Department of Highway and Safety for Motor Vehicles reported 28 accidents related to illegal street racing, with 2 fatalities and 27 injuries. In 2000, the agency reported 39 racing accidents, with 1 fatality and 55 injuries. In 2002, there were 48 racing accidents, 1 fatality, and 60 injuries.
According to the NHTSA, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 16 and 20.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says 5,749 teens died in the United States from motor vehicle crash injuries in 1999.
Nationwide statistics show that 49 people are injured for every 1,000 who participate in illegal street racing.
Both the families of the deceased driver and his passengers should consult with an experienced attorney to assist them with any insurance claims or lawsuits that need to be filed.
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