A 17-year-old lost his life early Sunday morning in a three-car accident involving two other teen drivers.
The teen was traveling eastbound on Butler Boulevard at San Pablo Road near the beaches when his car swiped the side of another car that had hit a concrete barrier and was stopped on the side of the road. The driver’s passenger suffered serious injuries and the condition of another passenger was not reported.
Our condolences go out to the teen’s family. Motor vehicle accidents continue to be the leading cause of death among the young. We wish the surviving passengers a speedy recovery.
The Florida Highway Patrol reports that the teen was not wearing a seat belt, while his other passenger was. The third it is uncertain.
All of this happened after an 18-year-old of Jacksonville lost control of her eastbound car and struck the concrete barrier. She and her passenger luckily got out of the car and ran to the side of the road before the car was hit by the oncoming car. They were wearing seat belts and were not injured. A third car, also driven by a teen a 19-year-old of Jacksonville, struck the 18-year-old’s car. It was the two car pile-up into which the 17-year-old drove into at 1:30 Sunday morning.
Young and inexperienced drivers, out late, not wearing seat belts, and likely traveling at excessive speed. Is it any wonder that automobile accidents in Jacksonville and throughout the State of Florida are the leading cause of death for young drivers?
While it wouldn’t apply in these crashes, a movement has been afoot nationally to increase the required age for a person to get a license. Currently it ranges from 14.5 in South Dakota, to 17 in New Jersey, but most states allow teens to drive at 16 or 16.5. Legislation has been introduced in Delaware, Florida, Georgia, and Massachusetts to raise the minimum driving age to 17 or 18.
All of the efforts have failed even though 64 out of 100,000 16-year-old drivers were involved in fatal accident in 2005, compared to 59 out of 100,000 17-year-olds, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.