The months stretching from Memorial Day to Labor Day are the riskiest days for teen drivers each year, with more teens dying in car wrecks during this time than at any other point throughout the year. Since teen drivers already have high fatality rates and car wrecks are always a top cause of teen deaths, these days are an extremely dangerous time for young people on the roads. In fact, the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day is known as the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers.
These days are deadly for a lot of reasons, most notably the fact that kids are off from school and generally have more time and less supervision. Our Portland, OR personal injury attorneys know that teens often make dangerous decisions when they are out joyriding with friends during the summer. One recent tragic accident that led to the death of a 19-year-old Oregon man shows just how grave the consequences can be when teen drivers engage in high-risk driving behavior.
Oregon Teen Dies in Hill Hopping Accident
According to ABC News, a 19-year-old Oregon man was driving in his Honda Civic with two friends on Valley View Road near Jefferson Oregon on Saturday night. The young driver and his passengers were traveling between 90 and 100 miles per hour. They were “hill hopping,” which is a term that refers to driving very quickly over natural ridge tops that are often located on country roads.
Hill hopping has become a common practice, with young drivers posting videos on YouTube demonstrating their joyriding adventures as they fly over hills at high speeds. Unfortunately, this has become a major problem in this part of Oregon, with drivers traveling to the area specifically to search for areas to go hill hopping. Residents have suggested repaving roads in areas prone to hill hopping or putting up cautionary signs, but many believe this would do no good because hill hopping is not accidental and teens would likely just seek out other areas to engage in this dangerous practice.
In this case, the 19-year-old hill hopping driver paid the ultimate price for the risk he took. He lost control of the car in mid-air and the Honda Civic hit a utility poll and split into two pieces that were found more than 100 feet apart. The car’s front end had separated entirely from the rear of the vehicle and the young driver was found dead at the scene. One of the passengers also suffered severe injuries and was listed in critical condition while the second passenger sustained more minor injuries.
The deceased was described as good kid, a great friend and a good student. Unfortunately, he made a dangerous choice here and the consequences were grave. He is not the only teen who has taken a risk in a car and there may be other young people this summer who go out joyriding and who speed, drink and drive or otherwise engage in high-risk behavior. These teens are at risk of dying during the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers and parents need to stress to their kids the importance of being safe. Parents should remind kids how terrible the consequences can be and how high the price can be for what seems like a bit of fun behind the wheel.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in the Portland area, contact Zbinden & Curtis. Call (503) 287-5000 for a free case consultation.