Teens Injured, Killed in Single-Car Crashes

Teens Injured, Killed in Single-Car CrashesOne teenager was killed and four others were injured recently in a single-car accident in Tinley Park, Illinois, according to the Oak Lawn Patch.

Tinley Park Police told the news source that a 2008 Pontiac G6 left the roadway at approximately 11:30 p.m., rolling several times before stopping in a forest preserve on the north side of the road.

One of the passengers, Megan Elan, 18, was ejected from the car and pronounced dead less than an hour after the crash at Advocate South Suburban Hospital. Four other occupants were taken to surrounding hospitals for continuing treatment.

The cause of the crash is under investigation and it is not known why the car left the roadway. The Suburban Major Accident Reconstruction Team and the Tinley Park Police Crash Investigation Unit are working to find answers, states the news source.

Another single-car crash recently in the Avondale neighborhood of Chicago left four female teenagers injured after the driver lost control of her 2007 Toyota and collided with a traffic pole, the Chicago Tribune reports. The cause of the crash is being investigated.

The driver, 18, was listed in serious-to-critical condition, while a 15-year-old passenger was taken to a local hospital with a broken leg. The two other passengers, ages 18 and 19, were hospitalized and listed in fair condition.

A single-car accident involving teens recently turned deadly in Portsmouth, Virginia. Fox 43 reports that two teenagers were killed and a third was sent to the hospital when a red Volvo struck a telephone poll after going off the road around 12:44 a.m. early on August 13.

A 17-year-old male and a 16-year-old female were both ejected from the vehicle and a 16-year-old girl female pinned inside the car. The two teenage girls were pronounced dead at the scene, while the male was transported to a local hospital and was listed in stable condition. Because two of the teens were ejected from the car, it is unclear who was driving at the time of the crash.

The accident is still under investigation, but speed may have been a factor in the crash, according to the news provider. Officials are also unsure if any of the teens were wearing seat belts at the time of the accident.

Car crashes are a serious health risk for today's teenagers. According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association (RMIIA), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among 15 to 20 year olds. In addition, 16-year-old drivers have higher crash rates than motor vehicle operators at any other age and are three times more likely to die in an automobile accident than the average rate for all other drivers.

While the statistics are staggering, RMIIA found a few hopeful pieces of data. In 2008, more than 2,700 drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 died in motor vehicle crashes, but this number is down more than 13 percent from 2007 and more than 20 percent from 1998.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), teen drivers often encounter a deadly mix of behaviors related to inexperience and immaturity, such as speed, drinking and driving, not wearing seat belts, cell phone use, loud music, drowsy driving and nighttime driving.

In 2006, 25 percent of drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 who were killed had blood alcohol concentration levels of .08 or higher, and 58 percent of teenage vehicle occupants who died in car crashes were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, states the NHTSA