North Carolina Teens Face Unique Driving Dangers in Winter

The story of one Lexington, N.C. father is wrenching. Days before Thanksgiving, he learned he will never again see his teenage son, a high school student killed instantly in a crash just down the street from the family home.
As WFMY News 2 reported, the father passed the crash scene just moments after it happened. He didn’t recognize the vehicle, but started texting his son anyway, wanting to make sure he wasn’t involved.

“Where are you?” read the first. The second, “John, answer me right now. There has been a very serious wreck… I want to know it isn’t you.”

A trooper called from his son’s phone several minutes later to confirm his worst fear. His only child, age 18, was dead. The driver, 16, has been cited for numerous misdemeanors related to careless driving and being a novice driver with too many teens in the car, a violation of the state’s graduated driver’s license laws. A 15-year-old girl in the vehicle was also killed. Her brother, 17, was seriously injured and reportedly fighting for his life.

The driver has since been charged with:

  • 2 misdemeanor counts of death by motor vehicle
  • Careless and reckless driving
  • Seat belt violation
  • Child restraint violation (the 15-year-old was not wearing a seat belt)
  • Limited provisional license violation (having more than one unrelated teen in the vehicle with him)

Our Winston-Salem accident attorneys recognize these charges likely come as little comfort to families who have endured the ultimate loss.

While teen crashes can occur at any time, winter is an especially dangerous period for them. Not only are they inexperienced, but there are more of them on the road because of the holidays. Additionally, road conditions tend to be poorer, and can deteriorate in a matter of minutes, leaving young drivers unsure of how to react.

The American Automobile Association offers the following advice for parents seeking to teach teens to drive in winter:

  • Under close supervision, allow the teen to practice slow speed maneuvers in an open and snow or ice-covered parking lot. Instruct them to practice braking hard and steering in situations where they skid.
  • Do not allow your teen’s first experience with winter whether driving to occur in a snowstorm. Wait until conditions are less severe.
  • When conditions are slippery, limit your teen’s driving to daylight hours until they gain more experience.
  • Be vigilant about the issue of impaired driving. It’s dangerous in all circumstances, but it’s especially risky when the roads are slippery.
  • Make sure the vehicle your teen drives is in good condition and is equipped with all essential emergency equipment (flashlight, blankets, jumper cables, ice scraper and sand/cat litter).

Contact the North Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:
Father’s Texts Never Read By Son Killed in Davidson Co. Crash, Dec. 1, 2014, By Morgan Hightower, MFMY News 2

More Blog Entries:
Bystanders Rush to Help After Charlotte Car Crash, Oct. 2, 2014, Winston-Salem Accident Lawyer Blog

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