Following San Diego Accident, Teen Drivers Urged to Drive With Adult When Possible

By Michael Pines, Accident & Injury Prevention Expert

If you’re a teen driver, consider driving with a “co-pilot” if possible. It may prevent the next San Diego accident.

The advice follows on the heels of the recent accident of a 16-year-old Steele Canyon high school student and his tragic death in an East County collision. According to


, the accident occurred when the young driver drifted into the path of a pickup truck traveling in the opposite direction.

Investigators say the young driver was trapped in his 2005 Chrysler Town & Country upon colliding with another driver’s Ford F450 pickup truck. Officials say the teen driver was cut out of the roof of the vehicle due to the extensive damage sustained to the car. Tragically, the 16-year-old boy died at the scene of the accident before he could be transported by helicopter ambulance.

Speed was not a factor in the accident as reports say both vehicles were traveled at about 45 mph. Recent reports also indicate the teen driver was

not texting or using his phone while driving

  1. It is unclear why the accident occurred.

The other driver was treated for injuries at a local hospital.
“I was in class today and our teachers told us about what happened,” said a fellow classmate. Needless to say, many of the young student’s peers have been affected by his death. Counselors have been on site to assist with mourning friends and relatives.

It goes without saying that life is precious and one moment can change everything forever. Teen drivers are urged to take one moment at a time and consider driving with an adult when possible.


Although it is exciting to earn your driver’s license and get behind the wheel alone, teen drivers are urged to reconsider driving solo when possible. It is unknown whether the young Steele Canyon student was driving to school, but, in cases when traveling out and about, it makes best sense to drive with a parent or other adult to ensure your safety.

Unfortunately, teens are at the greatest risk for injury and death. Statistics say that traffic accident rates for 16- to 19-year old drivers are higher than those for any other age group according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also reports that teen drivers had crash rates 3 times those of drivers 20 and older in 2011. That’s because inexperience will undermine even the most well-meaning driver -- and with inexperience comes accidents. Although it’s fun to drive on your own, consider letting a parent tag along. In an emergency situation, your parent may have the possibility of intervening.

For more teen driving safety tips, visit