Teenagers at the Wheel
(Pinehurst, NC, USA)
I have been in two accidents. Both involved teenaged drivers.
The first was on a Saturday afternoon around 4pm. It was a beautiful spring day. I was thankfully alone in my car, seatbelt on and listening to a CD. The road was dry and non-threatening.
Traveling at 35 mph, I began slowing for the upcoming traffic light. I was going straight through and the truck across the intersection was turning left.
As I approached the intersection, the boy driving the truck floored the gas pedal to try and make his turn before I got across. I depressed clutch and brake to the floor and could only brace for the impact.
When we collided I was had slowed to 10-15mph and he was maybe at 5mph. I was shocked by the force of the impact at those low speeds.
Everything from the front of my car flew to the rear and everything in the rear flew to the front. I hit the young drivers' truck in the front passenger side with the front passenger side of my car.
I hurt both knees, apparently from the intensity with which I was braking. The 16 year old driver was not injured but shaken quite severely. The sad part was that the boys parents were in the vehicle behind him and were on the way home from buying him his first car. They were very apologetic did not try to shield him from his responsibility.
His truck was drivable and had only cosmetic damage. Mine was a total loss.
Months later I was hit in the rear at a traffic circle by a 16 year old girl. There was no damage to my car but her front end was dented from end to end.
I was injured very painfully in the back and neck as were my two children. All involved in both accidents were wearing seatbelts.
I had always thought that insurance rates for teen drivers were unfair but after that year I can't believe they aren't more.