September 8, 2015- Essex County, VA
Carolyn L. Martin, age 65, died after being struck head-on by a 2006 Ford SUV along Route 659 (Desha Road) Sunday evening.
According to NBC12 News, the 17-year-old female driver of the SUV lost control of the vehicle while travelling east on Route 659 just before colliding head-on with Ms. Martin’s west bound 2005 Nissan Sentra.
The teenage driver, who was not injured in the crash, has since been charged with reckless driving. NBC12 News reports that speed is considered a factor in the crash.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teen drivers have crash rates 3 times those of drivers 20 and older per mile driven. In the Commonwealth, drivers aged 18 and under accounted for approximately 17% of drivers involved in crashes in 2014 based on data provided by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
Teen drivers are prone to speeding, distracted driving and other risky habits, yet lack the experience to recognize or adequately respond to roadway danger.
A recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which involved comprehensive review of crash videos involving teen drivers, revealed that distraction was a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes, which is four times as many as official estimates based on police reports.