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Preventing Overcorrection Accidents by Teen Drivers in Virginia

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One of the most common causes car accidents involving teenage drivers in Virginia is overcorrecting. According to the state's Department of Motor Vehicles, in 2011 alone, 244 car wrecks were caused by teen drivers overcorrecting when their car or truck ran off the edge of a road. Drivers’ education instructors and state safety officials have differing views on how to fix this problem.

Virginia high school driver’s education instructors are including lessons on how to avoid overcorrecting in their classrooms. Some are even teaching it on the road. A teacher at Staunton River High School deliberately sends a student-driven car off the road at a slow rate of speed so the new driver can experience the feeling firsthand and learn how to safely return to the road.

Employees with the Virginia Department of Transportation and Virginia Safety Office believe the key to avoiding these types of car crashes is to consider why the teens are leaving the road in the first place. The major factors are the same as most other car accidents — being distracted, driving under the influence, being tired and speeding.

If your school's driver education course does not cover responding appropriately after running off the road, you can teach your teen driver the followng strategies:

  1. Do not turn the wheel; continue driving straight even if some of your tires are in the grass.
  2. Take your foot off the gas pedal and slow down.
  3. Find a safe place to reenter the road
  4. Turn on your turn signal and reenter the road when it is clear.

If Virginia residents work together, hopefully the number of these senseless car accidents and injuries can be reduced, and our teenagers will remain safe on the roadways.


About the Editors: The Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.

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    Generally vehicles with equal weight front and rear have a fatality occurrence of 50 per million registered. This can be attributed to human error.
    Consistently vehicle with more than 63 percent weight on the front will have 3 times as many accidents. The difference in weight makes predicting a safe speed harder and recovery from a breakaway of the lighter rear almost impossible.
    On these vehicles keeping the best tires on the rear will decrease the number of accidents
    To see which cars are more susceptible google lost control and the name of a vehicle ie Buick