Seven people were injured, two critically, in a San Diego car accident, which involved a teen driver. According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, the injury collision occurred on Twin Peaks Road near Woodcreek Road in Poway, the afternoon of September 5, 2012. Police say four boys ranging in age from 15 to 17 were heading west on Twin Peaks in a Ford Escort driven by a 17-year-old. The driver of the Escort swerved over the centerline into eastbound traffic, before striking a Toyota Prius driven by a man and a Ford F-150 pickup driven by a woman. A 12-year-old girl was a passenger in the truck.
The Escort’s driver and his 15-year-old brother suffered critical injuries. Two others in the Escort, the drivers of the other vehicles and the passenger in the pickup were all treated at area hospitals for non-life-threatening injuries. Officials are still investigating the cause of this injury crash.
My heart goes out to the injured victims of this car accident. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Statistics Involving Teen Drivers
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2009, about 3,000 teens in the United States aged 15 to 19 were killed and more than 350,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained in auto accidents. Young people ages 15 to 24 represent only 14 percent of the U.S. population. But, they account for 30 percent – about $19 billion – of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries. The risk of motor vehicle crashes is statistically higher among 16- to 19-year-olds than among any other age group. Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely than older drivers to crash.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news article, it appears that the teen driver crossed the centerline and entered opposing lanes of traffic before hitting the two cars. California Vehicle Code Section 21651 (a) states: “Whenever a highway has been divided into two or more roadways by means of intermittent barriers or by means of a dividing section of not less than two feet in width, either unpaved or delineated by curbs, double-parallel lines, or other markings on the roadway, it is unlawful…to drive any vehicle over, upon, or across the dividing section.”
I trust officials are looking into whether speed, inexperience, inattention, distraction or some other form of negligence caused this crash. In this case, if the young driver of the Escort is determined to have been at fault, he can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, lost earnings, hospitalization and rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Car accident victims would be well advised to contact an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.