Both state and federal crash data has proven, time and time again, that young drivers have the highest risk of involvement in car accidents that result in injury. Because they lack experience, teenagers have a more difficult time assessing roadway situations and responding to them in a safe and prudent manner. When a teen driver is involved in a collision with a large commercial vehicle, like a semi-truck, our Missouri truck accident lawyers know that the stakes are even higher.
Recently, an Iowa teenager was killed when his SUV was struck by a semi-truck and subsequently rolled over into a ditch. According to the Des Moines Register, 17 year-old Rodrigo Lopez was eastbound on Interstate Highway 80 when he attempted to merge into the right lane and was struck by a semi already traveling in that lane. Lopez was taken from the scene by ambulance, but he later died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. Another semi traveling nearby was also damaged by debris created by the initial collision, law enforcement officials report. Investigation into the crash continues.
Facts about teen car accidents:
• Auto accidents are the leading cause of death for American teenagers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Approximately 2,700 teens between age 16 and 19 were killed - and about 282,000 were injured - in 2010 auto accidents.
• While young people between age 15 and 24 only account for about 14% of the U.S. population, they represent about 30% of total costs connected to auto accident injuries nationwide.
• Drivers between age 16 and 19 are the most likely to be involved in car accidents: per mile driven, they're three times more likely to crash than older, more experienced drivers.
• Unsupervised teen drivers are more likely to crash when they're driving with teen passengers on board - and the crash risk increases in accordance with the number of passengers.
In Missouri, teens between age 16 and 18 are eligible for an intermediate license after they have held an instruction permit for at least 182 days. That license comes with several restrictions: during the first six months, teens are prohibited from driving with more than one passenger under 19, unless a passenger is an immediate family member. After six months, teen drivers may carry no more than three passengers who are under 19 and who are not members of their immediate family. Click here to learn more about Missouri's graduated driver license law.