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Shapiro & Appleton

End of School Parties Linked to Teenage Road Deaths

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It may be a happy day for many teens who are out celebrating the end of the school year.But end of year celebrations and prom parties have made June 10 the second deadliest day of the year for teen traffic fatalities. The grim statistics on the high numbers of teenagers who are killed on the roads of Virginia (VA) and beyond were revealed by the Virginian-Pilot.

From 2005 through 2009, almost 20 youths between  the ages of 13 and 19 have died on that day each year in traffic accidents nationwide, either as drivers or passengers, AAA said. May 20 ranked as the worst day, seeing slightly more than 21 deaths on average. That's "significantly higher than the year-round daily average of 12.5 teen fatalities," the Virginian-Pilot reported.


Jacob Nelson, director of traffic safety advocacy and research for AAA, cited high school teenager graduation parties, celebrations to mark the end of the school year as  "contributing factors," to the high death rate.


As a Virginia personal injury lawyer practicing for more than 25 years, I have seen some terrible injury and death cases involving teen drivers who were drinking and driving or distracted drivers.
The summer remains one of the most dangerous times for teen injury and deaths on Virginia's interstates and  roads such as I-64, Route 17 and Route 58. Five of the 10 days with the most traffic-related injuries and deaths of teens, are in July. July 4 ranks close behind June 10, with an average of 19.4 deaths, according to AAA.

Nelson said weekend driving is more dangerous for teenagers and young people than weekday driving but during the summer "every day is like the weekend for teens."
And because parents are often at work there's less supervision of teenage drivers.

"Statistics for Virginia (VA) also show more teenage deaths on the road during the summer. In 2010, the months with the largest number of traffic fatalities of 15- to 19-year-olds were August (11), July (8) and June (7), according to the Department of Motor Vehicles," the Virginian-Pilot reported.


As experienced Virginia (VA) personal injury attorneys, we see far too many teens killed in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth and surrounding Virginia cities and further afield.
In fact, teenage car crashes are 10 times more likely to occur than from those involving middle aged drivers.

In many cases this inexperience can be a matter of life or death. Last year we reported on a tragic case in Belhaven, North Carolina (NC), when a 16-year-old lost control of a truck as he sped around a curve and a 13-year-old passenger died at the scene
.

While our Virginia (VA) injury attorneys recently reported on how fatal crashes involving teens had fallen by 36 percent over five years, this is only half the story. Department of Transportation figures reveal drivers under the age of 19, are involved in a wreck every 23 seconds.
In rural areas the numbers of deadly crashes involving teens driving pickup trucks, has actually been increasing. In the summer time parties, alcohol and euphoria can prove to be a deadly combination on the roads.

DM


Richard N. Shapiro
Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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