Anthony Rodriguez, a 17-year-old, was killed, and two of his friends were severely injured in what appears to have been a street racing accident in Houston last Wednesday night. He was a front seat passenger in a red Acura Integer when the driver of the car apparently lost control while driving the car at high speeds and crashed into a tree. The driver as well as a backseat passenger were seriously injured in the crash and had to be airlifted to the Memorial Hermann in the Texas Medical Center.
Some witnesses have come forward to say that the car had been racing with a blue car just before the crash. A police officer had been following the car just before the accident, and Houston police are checking out the video footage on his dashboard camera to find out more about the crash. Thus far, alcohol use does not seem to have been a factor here.
This is probably the right time to bring attention to the fact that motor vehicle accidents continue to be the single biggest factor in teen fatalities. More than 40% of all deaths of persons between the age of 15 and 19 occur in an auto accident. That is an unfortunate fact, and parents must get more involved to reduce the odds that their child could be killed in an accident.
Right now, the odds are simply not in favor of teen motorists. These drivers have far too many distractions from cell phones and from their fellow passengers. They are also under heavy peer pressure to indulge in reckless driving. Drunk driving rates in this age group are some of the highest among any age groups. In 2008, teen motorists comprised just 8% of the American population, but constituted 12 percent of all accident fatalities.
As Houston accident lawyers, we would offer the following advice for parents of teen motorists – there is no law that says that your child has to begin driving at 14, 15 or 16. You are the best judge of whether your child can be a safe driver. If he seems reckless, or prone to aggressiveness, you have every right to postpone driving privileges for him for as long as you want.
Our thoughts and prayers go to the families and friends of the deceased teenager as well as the two that were severely injured.