From 2012-2016, 40 of all car accident fatalities were credited to excessive speeding. 98 speed induced car crash deaths were recorded in 2016 alone, of which 12 fell into the 15-19 age demographic. Inexperience, distraction, terrain, and underestimating curves may contribute to these teen deaths. But much like homework, cleaning rooms, and being back before 10 pm, some teens don’t listen.
Two Farr West teens learned high speeds are dangerous the hard way. Thankfully, they survived.
Their Jeep Grand Cherokee nearly folded in half after hitting a rock and careening into a utility pole, with both teens suffering only minor injuries. Speed was the only factor in causing this almost deadly encounter as the driver wasn’t texting or under the influence. She was cited for careless driving.
We read horrifying stories like this and wonder, “What lessons could drivers young and old take away from car accidents?” Here are several, brought to you by a Salt Lake City car accidents attorney with experience in this arena.
You’re never bigger than your vehicle
We’re all guilty of thinking our driving skills amass factory governed speeds. We see curves and immediately wonder if our NASCAR driving skills would earn sponsorship and a trip to Bristol. All told, people overestimate the ability of their vehicles and underestimate the power of excessive speeds.
If you’re ever bored and wonder how much gravitational force (g-force) one experiences when hitting an inanimate object at various speeds, there are calculators online for that. Here’s one example: an accident where the driver weighs 180 pounds, travels 60 mph, and has 5 feet of distance between their vehicle and any stationary object just created slightly over 2 tons of force.
You’ll arrive at your destination, don’t worry. Don’t try to outmuscle your much larger cars.
Seatbelts do save lives
Given a large number of serious accidents litigated by any Salt Lake City car accident attorney, it’s safe to assume many victims wore seatbelts.
Sure, we’re all guilty of wanting to get our lunch and return to work or speed home to meet family for dinner. As most fatal car accidents in Utah occur between 1:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m. on average, slapping that safety belt across your lap prior to leaving your office and driving within posted speed limits may not only prevent your death but save another’s life.
The Cherokee was nearly folded like paper. Without safety belts on, these ladies would’ve died instantly.
Remember, it’s OK to be inexperienced
No parent wants their inexperienced child traversing Utah’s scenic roadways without knowledge of roadway laws, how to utilize safety features, and ways to maneuver around dangers. The lack of experience may have caused this tragic wreck, but the one lesson that stuck with this teen driver meant the most: seatbelts save lives.
Tragic accidents are tough ways to learn life lessons. That said, it’s alright for teens to make small mistakes behind the wheel – provided parents are with them. It’s our job as parents to encourage teens to get excited about vehicle safety and teach them ‘embarrassing’ safety lessons which they’ll thank us for later.
If you or your teen were innocent parties to an accident, retain a Salt Lake City car accident attorney.