Teenage Driving in Auburn, CA
I’m Ed Smith, an Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney in Auburn, CA. A woman living on a residential street in Auburn, California posted a video of dangerous teenage driving on her street, and it went viral on Facebook overnight. The popularity of the post about potential automobile accidents in her neighborhood, primarily caused by teenagers from the nearby Placer High School, has raised serious questions about the school’s responsibility toward not only its students, but the surrounding community.
WATCH: Finley Street Crash Auburn CA. This is the video captured by Megan Muller. Posted on Youtube by The AJ.
Speeding Teenage Drivers
Resident Megan Muller lives on Finley Street in Auburn, CA. While the neighborhood is not notorious among local police officers or the California Highway Patrol for road dangers, Muller says that she’s grown more concerned recently about speeding teenage drivers on her street, particularly before and after school, and during the short lunch break.
Truck Full of Teenage Boys Hits Tree in Auburn
Muller began filming drivers outside her home to prove that speeding was a serious problem in her neighborhood. The video she uploaded on Tuesday, January 19th, began with an off-camera squealing of tires as a vehicle lost control on the wet streets. Then, a black pickup truck rumbles through the frame, with four teenage boys inside. The truck, off-camera again, hits a tree with an unmistakable crunch after skidding into oncoming traffic.
Pedestrians Could Have Been Hurt
While all of the students survived the crash – only one of the boys had to be taken to the hospital for a leg injury, while the other three left unscathed – Muller says that the accident could have been much worse, since a group of pedestrians had walked down that side of the street just ten minutes prior to the crash.
Ignoring the 25 MPH zone
Part of the problem is that drivers moving through the neighborhood have been ignoring a 25 mph speed limit sign which went up six months prior to Muller’s video posting. Another, larger problem, however, is the question of Placer High’s responsibility in creating an unsafe situation involving numerous teenage drivers. The school has an open campus, which allows students to leave for lunch, and students with access to vehicles tend to drive to the nearby Foresthill Exit to get fast food.
Speed Trap Nets Six Teenage Drivers Speeding
Two days after Muller’s video went viral on social media, Auburn police officers posted speed traps along the street for the school day. Sergeant Chris Forman caught six high school drivers speeding through the neighborhood, including one student who had a provisional license and should not have been driving other underage passengers. He said that the residential Auburn street had suffered three auto accidents in the past year alone, two of which occurred the evening he patrolled.
Statistics on Teenage Drivers
Placer High School Principal Pete Efstathiu said that the school notifies students through bulletins during the entire school year that they must drive safely. Unfortunately, teenagers are one of the most statistically dangerous groups of drivers – nationwide, in 2013 alone, 2,163 children between the ages of 16 and 19 were killed in auto accidents, and over 240,000 suffered serious injuries and had to be taken to the emergency room – and the open campus might contribute to the road safety problem that Muller documented. Placer High students are still under the Education Code when they leave campus, meaning their poor behavior can still be disciplined, but the Code says nothing about speeding while driving.
Teenage drivers are inexperienced, and often over-estimate their capacity to multitask while driving. The most common causes of auto accidents like the one Muller documented are called “critical errors,” like lack of scanning for road hazards, distracted driving, and, of course, speeding.
Auburn, CA Auto Accident Attorney
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Photo: Wikimedia Commons CHP_Police_Interceptor_Utility_Vehicle.jpg