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It has long been known that the more teenagers you put in a car, the
greater the chances of a serious collision. Research shows when a teen driver
has more than one passenger in the car, use of seat belts by the occupants is
reduced and there are more distractions to divert the teen driver’s attention
from the road. Male teen drivers especially, when accompanied by an audience,
have a tendency to want to show off behind the wheel. Add night time driving
and it becomes a recipe for disaster.
A case in point is a collision in which a North Carolina teen was
killed while riding as a passenger with a teen driver. At the time of the
crash, the 17 year old driver was carrying four passengers in his pickup truck.
North Carolina’s GDL law limits drivers under the age of 18 to no more than one
passenger unless the driver is accompanied by a supervising licensed driver
over the age of 21.
Investigators say high speed was most likely the major contributing
factor to this collision. The driver failed to negotiate a curve, swerved, hit
a ditch and then overturned flipping several times before coming to rest upside
According to authorities, only one teen, a 16 year old back seat
passenger was wearing a seat belt. The driver and three other passengers were
ejected from the vehicle. The teen that died was pinned beneath the truck. The
other three who were ejected had to be transported to the hospital with serious
injuries. The 16 year old girl who was wearing her seat belt received only
minor injuries and was treated and released at the scene.
GDL laws have been proven effective in dramatically reducing the teen
death rate over the past several years but they only work when they are obeyed.
Parents need to know the GDL laws and prevent their teen drivers from carrying
more than the allowed number of passengers. Parents also need to know when
their teen will be a passenger that their teen will be the only passenger or
else prevent them from going.
Labels: gdl laws, nighttime driving, seat beat, teen drivers, vehicle collision