Fatal crash involving California teens brings up questions of prevention

Five California teens were recently involved in a fatal crash caused by an unlicensed driver in the middle of the night. The driver, a teenager himself, was unlicensed. The car also held one passenger who was in eighth grade.

A recent opinion article in the Los Angeles Times focused on the anger many readers expressed regarding the cause of the crash and the failure of the parents to guard against such an unfortunate accident. The teens were driving at 2 a.m. on the 5 Freeway, coming home after spending the night out at Knott's Scary Farm for its annual Halloween event.

The opinion writer felt that too much anger was directed at the parents, without enough empathy. Personal injury attorneys are familiar with both sides of such an argument.

A fatal accident, especially involving the young, are understandably emotional even for people not involved directly in a crash. For parents with whom the tragedy is closer, the loss is devastating and life-altering.

The unfortunate truth is that many teenagers exhibit risky behavior behind the wheel. The incredible tragedy that these families must endure could happen to almost any family. Driving responsibly offers some measure of protection, but driving is inherently risky, a fact that many teens do not seem to realize until they have been in a few close calls themselves.

The cause of the crash itself, which took place in Orange County, could take weeks of investigation to resolve.

Reducing risk and getting help

While driving is inherently risky, that is not to say parents must throw up their hands and give up. Teaching new drivers about the risks of texting while driving, avoiding driving under the influence, keeping eyes on the road, and reducing the number of passengers in a vehicle can help reduce the number of tragedies.

According to the California Department of Transportation, car accidents are the leading cause of death among teens.

For people who have had a loved one suffer the worst possible outcome of bad driving, the hearts of everyone should go out to them. In the meanwhile, educating teens about bad driving behaviors and holding negligent drivers responsible can help.

If you or a loved one has been in a severe car crash, a personal injury attorney can help by potentially receiving help with medical expenses lost wages and other costs associated with an accident.