As I reported yesterday, our area's roadways are becomming more and more dangerous due to the large number of vehicles on the road, leading to an increase in pedestrian fatalities.  Today there is more sadness in connection with our roadways: two crashes by teenage drivers leading to fatalities and catastrophic injuries. 

When I was growing up in Baltimore City, not far from Pimlico Race Track, a pedestrian fatality, or a fatal crash involving teenagers, was extremely rare.  Same for the 1960's when my family moved to the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C.  Today, in our region, where mass transit doesn't provide for the majority of the public, just about everyone over 16 seems to drive a car, and most adults own a vehicle.   In just the last few days, we are reminded of just how tragedy can strike on our roadways, in a way that destroys the tranquility of every day life.

In Glenn Dale, Prince Georges County, three teens were injured, one critically, when a van rolled over at about 2:00 pm.  The teens were trapped in the car, and emergency rescue personnel had to use hydraulic equipment to cut them out of the car.

And in Vienna, Va, another teenage resident of Prince George's County died when his vehicle struck a tree.  The eighteen year old Clifton resident drove off the roadway of Old Courthouse Road at about 2:00 a.m.  Investigators are trying to determine what caused the driver to veer off the road and into a tree.

Both these crashes show how quickly lives can change, and families irreparably harmed.  Despite new laws in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia concerning young drivers and licensing requirements, teenage drivers continue to rank at the top of most studies of motor vehicle crashes caused by driver error.  And when it comes to crossing the street, more and more pedestrians are being injured and killed on our region's roadways.

If you have a teenager at home, be sure they understand both the responsibilites and dangers associated with driving.  And all of us need to be aware of just how dangerous our roadways are each time we cross the street. 

At Clark & Steinhorn, we strive to promote safety on our roadways.  Please drive carefully and prudently, and be aware of the dangers out there when crossing the street.  Its not Mayberry anymore, and its not the 1950's when most roads were two lanes, and not every family needed more than one car.
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