Car accidents involving minors teach hard lessons

Sixteen is a young and tender age to learn a brutal lesson about life and death behind the wheel of a car. Unfortunately, car accidents are one of the leading causes of death among teens in Ohio and other states. One young woman is recovering from her own injuries and mourning the loss of a friend following a recent accident.

The 16-year-old was driving with her female friend in the front seat and a 17-year-old male in the back seat when she ran a stop sign. Her car collided with a pickup truck in the intersection. The two vehicles continued across the intersection and overturned.

Despite wearing her safety belt, the girl's friend died in the accident. The young man in the back seat was not wearing a seat belt, and he was transported by helicopter to a trauma center and listed in critical condition. The driver, who also wore her seat belt, was taken by ambulance to a nearby medical center. Her injuries were not life threatening. The 28-year-old driver of the pickup truck was also treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Ohio laws for young drivers have recently been tightened and contain restrictions for the number and ages of passengers a teen driver may carry. While this may sound severe to newly licensed teens, the purpose of the rule is to prevent car accidents caused by distractions. The attorney for the parents of the girl's passengers may investigate whether the girl was within those restrictions at the time of the crash. If they proceed with a lawsuit, any registered owner of the car -- for example, the girl's parents -- may be named as a defendant.

Source: toledoblade.com, "16-year-old dies in Seneca County car crash", Oct. 1, 2016

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