The death of a 17-year-old Murfreesboro teenager in a Tennessee trucking accident is a tragic reminder of the deadly consequences that too often result when a passenger car is involved in an accident with an 80,000 pound tractor-trailer.
As our Tennessee wrongful death attorneys have reported, the vast majority of fatalities involving large trucks occur to motorists in passenger vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 3,500 of the 4,229 fatalities involving trucking accidents in 2008 were motorists in other vehicles involved in the accident with large trucks.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol reports the young woman was killed when the vehicle she was riding in crashed into a tractor-trailer near the intersection of Shelbyville Highway at Stones River Road. The Tennessean reports that investigators believe the 2000 Honda she was riding in pulled into the path of the semi while trying to make a turn. The 43-year-old Ohio trucker was not injured.
Family members say the vehicle was hers but was being driven by her boyfriend, who was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Authorities say charges are pending against him.
As we enter the holiday driving season, teens are among those at highest risk for being involved in a serious or fatal accident. Car accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers ages 15 to 20. Speeding, distracted driving, failure to wear seat belts, drunk driving and riding with too many passengers in the vehicle are all common causes of teenager accidents.
What gets less emphasis is the need to speak with teenagers about using extra caution around tractor-trailers and other large commercial trucks. A total of 184 teenagers were killed in Tennessee car accidents in 2008.
The Trucker reports that Thanksgiving and New Year's are two of the deadliest holidays of the year for trucking accidents. The next six weeks, as motorists and truckers hit the roads for the holidays amid the start of the winter driving season, can be especially hazardous.
Please take a moment to talk to your teenagers about the importance of safe driving this holiday season.