Speeding Blamed for Death of Two Washington State Teenagers

Authorities say that speed played a role in a tragic car accident this month that took the lives of two Grandview High School teenagers and left another one fighting for his life. According to news reports, the three teens were in a Dodge Neon on the night of January 8 when the vehicle careened off the road north of Grandview, flipped and bounced along the ground and came to rest about 10 feet up in a tree.

The two teens who died were both 16 years old; the injured teen is 17.  Authorities were not immediately sure which teenager was driving the vehicle at the time, but they do not suspect drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash. Investigators from the Benton County Sheriff’s Department think that the vehicle was significantly exceeding the 50 mph speed limit when it came upon the curve where it went off the road.

Teenagers and Speed

Speed is the most common contributing factor in car crashes throughout the country. In fact, speeding or driving too fast for conditions is noted as a contributing factor in over one-third of all crashes nationwide each year. When you combine speed and teenagers, the risk of a crash increases dramatically.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers. An average of seven teenagers between the age of 16 and 19 are killed in car crashes in the United States each day. Both the presence of males and the presence of other teenagers in the vehicle increase the risk of a crash, according to the CDC.

Speed was a factor in 39 percent of all fatal crashes involving those between age 15 and 20 in 2010. In the State of Washington, drivers between the ages of 16 and 25 were involved in nearly four of every 10 fatal crashes between 2004 and 2008. Furthermore, more than half of those who died in speed-related crashes were age 16 to 30. Yakima County ranked fourth in the state during the time period for fatal accidents involving teenagers.

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