Police in Mississippi say that six teenagers were injured and one 14-year-old died following a recent Warren County car crash. The accident happened just before 9 p.m. on Newitt Vick Drive in Vicksburg.
According to authorities, a 16-year-old was driving the 2011 Toyota Corolla at the time of the crash. The teen lost control of the car and crashed it into the front yard of a nearby home, ultimately coming to a stop after colliding with a tree.
Police say the driver was the oldest person in the car. Other passengers included a 15-year-old, three 14-year-olds and two 13-year-olds. All seven were taken to the local River Region hospital for treatment. After arriving at the local hospital, the condition of two of the teens was determined to be serious enough to require an airlift to the University of Mississippi medical Center while a third was taken by ambulance to UMC. Sadly, the 14-year-old who was airlifted to Jackson later died from his injuries.
Police have not yet revealed the cause of the serious accident, saying that investigators are working to reconstruct what happened. This latest incident serves as a sad reminder of how dangerous it can be when young teens are behind the wheel of a car. The problem is a serious one, with the CDC saying that in 2010, about 2,700 teens in the United States aged 16-19 were killed in car accidents. That same year, another 282,000 were treated and treated in hospital emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor-vehicle crashes.
As many parents assume, the risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16- to 19-year-olds than among any other age group. In fact, per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash. According to the CDC, there are several risk factors that greatly increase the likelihood a teen driver will be involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, the recent Warren County, MS accident appears to fit all the risk factors perfectly.
The first group that it at an increased risk of being involved in a car accident is male drivers. Statistics show that the motor vehicle death rate for male drivers and passengers ages 16 to 19 was almost two times that of their female counterparts. The second big risk factor includes teens driving with teen passengers. Studies show this risk increases according to the number of teen passengers. In the recent crash there were six other teen passengers, increasing the risk of an accident dramatically. The final risk factor is for newly licensed teen drivers. The risk of an accident is unsurprisingly higher in the first months after licensure.
The hope is that by recognizing some of these risk factors parents can take steps to protect their children by encouraging safe behavior. Limiting the number of passengers in the car, eliminating access to cellphones and other distractions and impressing on your children the real dangers involved in driving are some ways to help keep young drivers safe when out for a drive.
If you have been injured in a Mississippi car, motorcycle or tractor-trailer accident and think you may have a personal injury claim, please contact the Mississippi personal injury attorneys at Kilpatrick & Philley at (601) 856-7800.
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