A car filled with teenagers and an unlicensed driver resulted in a tragic, fatal accident in the Los Angeles area over Memorial Day weekend. The car accident killed five high school students, including the 17-year-old driver.
The teens were on their way to the beach to celebrate the holiday when the vehicle spun out of control going down a hill on a six-lane road. The city's mayor was told that the car may have been going as fast as 100mph. The road has a posted speed limit of 55 mph. A city official said the road the teens were on was wide, straight and in good condition, which can be tempting for some drivers to speed.
News reports indicated that the driver, a junior in high school, had been cited in April for violating his provisional driver's license. The boy had been pulled over for having illegally tinted windows and for an illegal modification to the exhaust of his car.
Teen drivers are known to be at higher risk of car accidents than older, more experienced drivers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found three factors that increase the risk of teen driving accidents. Male drivers aged 16 to 19 had a vehicle accident death rate that was nearly twice as high as female drivers of that age. The presence of other teens in the car increases the accident risk. Newly licensed teens, such as those with a provisional license, have a particularly high crash risk.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Teen driver in fatal Newport Beach wreck was unlicensed," Lauren Williams and Jill Cowan, May 29, 2013