Experience teaches drivers how to react to adverse traffic conditions. Teen drivers in Illinois work through a graduated licensing program over time to learn to adapt to weather changes, high speeds, rush hour congestion and nighttime driving. Teens who exceed the limits of their driving abilities risk being killed or injured in a car crash.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the number of teens killed on the nation's roadways plummeted since the mid-1970s. In 1975, before seat belts and other safety features were mandatory, more than 8,700 teenagers died in auto accidents. By 2010, U.S. teen deaths in car crashes fell below 3,100.
The statistics also reveal that today's teen drivers are involved in car crashes at three times the rate of people in other age groups. Auto accident injuries are the number one reason for deaths among teenagers.
A recent car accident near Chicago claimed the lives of four teens.
The bodies of two girls and two boys were discovered on the morning after the teens were reported missing. The 15 to 17-year-old victims died in an overturned vehicle in a creek outside of Wilmington. Investigators think the driver may have misjudged how wet the roadway was approaching the creek.
Six teens died in a similar crash when a 19-year-old driver flipped a stolen SUV into a pond. Two teens, who escaped by swimming to safety through a broken window, said the unlicensed driver tried to take a curve at about 80 mph. The youngest victim to die was 14.
Criminal defendants of every age are prosecuted for alleged crimes against society. A civil action takes the responsibility for negligence to a personal level.
Personal injury and wrongful death defendants are held accountable for financial and noneconomic harm. Debts for the losses of accident victims and families are paid through settlements arranged out of court or damages awarded by juries.
Source: usnews.nbcnews.com, "Chicago area crash kills four teens after deadly accidents in Ohio and Texas," Tracy Connor, March 12, 2013