A teen driver claimed the life of a 28-year-old woman after crossing the center line of Bunce Road in Fayetteville, North Carolina (NC), just before dawn on June 18, 2017. The fatal head-on collision happened at 5:25 am between Bingham Road and Raeford Road.
Police do not know why the 19-year-old male behind the wheel of a Hyundai Tiburon wound up in the path of the oncoming Ford Crown Victoria. They issued no charges pending the completion of their crash investigation. Law enforcement officials may also be waiting to learn if the at-fault driver will recover from the severe injuries he sustained in the wreck.
The woman driving the Ford died at the scene. Recently reported research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicates that she faced increased risk simply by sharing the two-lane Bunce Road with a teen driver. As noted in a June 2017 foundation press release, people younger than 18 are six time more likely than older drivers to get involved in a fatal crash.
Even though the driver who crossed the center line of Bunce Road was one year older, he would still be more likely than a more-experienced driver to commit one or more of the three most-common errors among teen drivers. As identified by the AAA Foundation, these are
- Distraction: Distraction plays a role in nearly six out of 10 teen crashes, four times as many as official estimates based on police reports. The top distractions for teens include talking to other passengers in the vehicle and interacting with a smart phone.
- Not Buckling Up: In 2015, the latest data available, 60 percent of teen drivers killed in a crash were not wearing a safety belt. Teens who buckle up significantly reduce their risk of dying or being seriously injured in a crash.
- Speeding: Speeding is a factor in nearly 30 percent of fatal crashes involving teen drivers. A recent AAA survey of driving instructors found that speeding is one of the top three mistakes teens make when learning to drive.
Exceeding the speed limit and letting attention wander, possibly by falling asleep at the wheel at the early hour of the deadly wreck in Fayetteville, would greatly raise the possibility for leaving one’s own lane and casing a head-on collision.
My Carolina wrongful death attorney colleagues and I send our deepest condolences out to the friends and family members of the woman who lost her life in the Fayetteville crash. We hope that younger drivers learning of it take away the lesson to operate their vehicles more cautiously and more attentively.