A Honda Passport carrying eight teenagers went off the road and struck a guardrail around 7am on Sunday morning in Warren, Ohio. The SUV was traveling over 70 mph when it lost control and ended up in a swamp about 60 miles east of Cleveland. As a result, six of the eight teens were trapped in the vehicle and were pronounced dead at the scene. Studies show that young people are five times more likely to be killed in a car crash when a young driver has more than one passenger. Clearly, excessive speed and too many passengers (groups) were the main two factors for this tragedy, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol is currently investigating whether the teens were wearing seat belts or not.
Car wrecks are the # 1 cause of death for people under 25, claiming 11,000 young lives every year. Virtually all of these deaths result not from accidents, but from 7 CHOICES the Citrin Safety Foundation calls D.A.N.G.E.R.S.
- Distractions (texting, eating, applying make-up, pets, etc.)
- Alcohol/drugs (driving impaired)
- No seat belts (failing to buckle up)
- Groups (too many young passengers)
- Exhaustion (fatigue)
- Riding bumpers (tailgating)
- Speed (exceeding the speed limit or failing to slow down for weather, traffic, or other conditions)
Fortunately, the National Safety Council created a program called Alive at 25 which is proven to be 90% effective in reducing these fatalities. Because Alabama ranks 3rd worst in the U.S. in traffic deaths, Alabama trial lawyer Andy Citrin became certified in 2009 to teach the Alive at 25 program. A top-rated injury attorney with a 26 year track record of winning large verdicts and settlements for people innocently injured or killed in car, truck, and motorcycle wrecks, Mr. Citrin has personally taught the 4 hour “Alive at 25” program to thousands of area high school students free of charge over the past three years. To make a tax-deductible donation to the Citrin Safety Foundation, or to schedule Mr. Citrin to teach the program at your school, call Executive Director Pam Winstead at 251-626-7766 or visit www.CitrinSafetyFoundation.org.