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Endless Spring Break: Teenage Drivers at Risk with School Out for Coronavirus

Students on Roads while Out of School for Extended Spring Break

 Endless Spring Break: Teenage Drivers at Risk with School Out for CoronavirusAmid the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, a different threat is taking its toll on teenager drivers: extended spring break.

Typically during spring break, teenagers are at greater risk of being injured or killed in a collision. However, this year, spring break has been extended indefinitely after schools closed for the coronavirus threat. Now young people have several weeks or months where they are not in school and with businesses also closed, there is plenty of time for leisure activities and driving — the leading cause of death for teenagers in the U.S.

A study published in Economic Inquiry in March 2015 notes that  there are significantly more traffic fatalities beginning the last week of February through the first week of April at spring break hot spots across the United States.

Michael T French, professor of health economics at the University of Miami, is one of two people who wrote the 2015 study. “The primary implication is that roadways are dangerous during the spring break period, not only for spring breakers, but also for the residents and other visitors of popular spring break destinations.”

Although Gov. Gavin Newsom has asked call Californians to stay home, that’s not stopping some young people from venturing out on the roads to use up all the free time they have.

One Miami spring breaker made national news when he told CBS News “If I get corona, I get corona,” said Brady Sluder, a high school student who is from Ohio. “At the end of the day, I’m not going to let it stop me from partying. We’ve been waiting for Miami spring break for a while.” The teenager later apologized for his statements.

Spring Break Crashes in California

Indeed, tourist areas such as California beaches are more likely to attract young drivers.  Two years ago, in March 2018, three Las Vegas teenagers died and a fourth was injured when a drunk driver struck their stopped car on Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach.

However, this year, with beaches and parks closed, traffic accidents can take place just about anywhere and not just in the tourist areas. Two teenagers were killed and two were injured in Anaheim this past week in a crash at Belinda Circle and Lincoln Avenue. The crash took place just before 2 p.m. when a Dodge Charger drove through a red light and hit a Honda Civic. Investigators are looking into whether or not drugs and speed were factors.

In Stanislaus County, a 17-year-old boy was killed and three others ages 16 and 17 years old were hospitalized after a solo crash on March 11th on Blaker Road in Ceres, just south of Modesto.

On Monday, a young person suffered major injuries when the dune buggy he or she was riding overturned and rolled into the open desert at Leto Avenue in Thermal. The driver was transported to Desert Regional Hospital after the crash.

“As teenagers and young adults get restless, keeping them quarantined or isolated is going to be tough to enforce,” said Attorney James Johnson. “It’s important that they take driving seriously and follow the rules of the road at all times.”

Hopefully, spring breakers will heed the government’s advice and stay home over the next few weeks, but for those who do venture out on the roads remind them to always wear their seat belts, never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs and adhere to all traffic rules and regulations. Teens with graduated licences should also not have passengers if they haven’t had a license for at least a year.

Johnson Attorneys Group does not represent any of the parties mentioned above; nor is it our intent to represent any of the parties. If you have legal questions or would like to contribute to this story, please contact us.

James Johnson

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