One teenager is dead and two others injured after a single-vehicle crash in Lindale, TX. The crash occurred on Thursday, February 17, at around 8:45 p.m.
The Single-Vehicle Crash
On Thursday, February 17, three teenagers were driving east on Smith County Road 472 in a 2002 Toyota Camry. According to the preliminary crash report, the 16-year-old driver of the Toyota Camry swerved to avoid a wild animal on the road. This action caused the car to run off the road and hit several trees.
One of the passengers, who was later identified as a 16-year-old sophomore at Lindale ISD, was ejected from the car during the crash. Authorities responded to the crash around 8:45 p.m.
The 16-year-old passenger was taken to a nearby hospital and later pronounced dead. The driver of the vehicle was treated at the scene and later released.
The second passenger was taken by a private car to a nearby hospital for further treatment. A spokeswoman from the Texas Department of Public Safety stated that none of the teenagers were wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.
The crash is still under investigation.
Teen Car Crashes
According to the CDC, motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death for teenagers in the U.S. In 2019, reports showed that nearly 2,400 teens between the ages of 13 to 19 were killed in motor vehicle crashes.
To put this into perspective, almost seven teenagers die each day due to a motor vehicle accident. Teenagers often get a bad reputation when it comes to driving, mostly due to the risk factors that they face when behind the wheel:
- Inexperience — Teens have less experience driving and are unable to recognize a dangerous situation before it occurs.
- Night or weekend driving — Driving at nighttime or on the weekend is especially dangerous due to low visibility and heavy traffic.
- Not wearing seatbelts — Teenagers and young adults have the lowest seat belt usage among drivers. This can result in a greater number of fatalities during a crash.
- Distracted driving — Being distracted while driving along with inexperience can lead to greater mistakes and accidents on the road.
- Speeding — Teens are more likely to speed, making it difficult for them to react to sudden changes on the road.
- Drug or alcohol use — Drug and alcohol use can greatly inhibit a teen’s ability to drive and lead to a severe accident.
While teenagers can drive responsibly at all times on the road, these risk factors can contribute to teenage car crashes. Before a teenager gets behind the wheel on their own, it’s important to go over the risks that they face. Knowing how to be a responsible driver can save them from a serious wreck.