Separate car accidents in rural western Virginia (VA) in January and February 2012 that claimed the lives of three teenagers are being attributed to young drivers who ran off the road accidently then overcorrected in a attempt to return all wheels to the pavement. Too often, overcorrecting forces drivers into the path of oncoming vehicles or propels them off the other side of the road.
Figures from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles cited in WSLS-TV 10 reports indicate 244 traffic accidents during 2011 involved teenage drivers who made overcorrections after somehow losing control of their vehicles. That total was up slightly from 235 in 2010. Overcorrection frequently occurs when drivers are distracted or speeding, and inexperienced drivers often make rushed, incorrect decisions.
As a car accident attorney, I’ve seen young, inexperienced drivers endanger themselves and others because of distractions including texting, calling and horsing around with passengers. Parents should talk with their teenagers about the risks of distractions behind the wheel and encourage kids to turn down their music, put the cell phone away, and always keep two hands on the steering wheel. Also, continue giving teens behind-the-wheel instruction even after they receive their licenses. The more experience teen drivers get, the better.
About the Editors: The Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.