Teenage driving is a blessing and a curse. As a parent of four children who have all gone through the teenage driving phase, I was grateful that my teenage drivers were able to drive themselves to school or to get to their sporting practices or even to run some errands for me. On the dark side of teenage driving is the fact that their inexperience, lack of appreciation for the responsibility and since their sense of personal invincibility makes them a greater danger to themselves, their passengers and the general motoring public.
This thought was brought to the forefront of my mind when I read about an 19 year old teenage driver, Michael Navarrete of Hemet, who was driving his Ford Explorer when he lost control and ran into a traffic signal pole in Menifee. While all the details of the accident are unclear, it appears that speed and inattention played a part in the cause of the accident. As a result of this accident where the Explorer struck the pole, a 19 year old boy, Donovan Adams, was killed and two other teenage passengers, Joel Connor Fritz and Gregory Gonzalez, were critically injured. This tragic accident will have lasting affects on the families and friends of all these young men yet it was an avoidable accident.
Not long ago I handled a case involving graduating seniors at high school who were traveling from a school sponsored picnic home, when two cars, one filled with boys and the other filled with girls, ended up colliding and ejecting several passengers because they had too many in the car and not enough seat belts. One of the drivers was not even licensed but the father still let him drive.
If you are the parent of a teenager, or a teenage driver, remind them over and over of the dangers associated with driving. Remind your teenage passengers to be firm about the driver driving safely and to focus on the task of driving and not on the distractions in and out of the car. Make sure your children know they can call you if they find themselves in an unsafe situation and that you will be there for them as their true friend and not to judge them.
Finally, if your teenager has been involved in an accident where he or she has suffered injuries, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your options for recovering damages. Don’t forget that if your child is either insured or lives in your home, and your insurance policy includes Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, some of the damages or losses may be covered by that insurance policy. A good personal injury attorney has the ability to assist you in finding all available insurance coverage to reduce the financial impact on you and your child.