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A 17-year-old driver splintered a utility pole in a recent crash in Riverdale. The unnamed teen was driving downhill on Windbeam Road in the Morris County borough in his tan Jeep Grand Cherokee, along with a teenaged passenger. For reasons not yet disclosed by authorities, the driver lost control of the Jeep, struck a curb, hit a concrete retaining wall, and finally hit a utility pole with force sufficient to split the pole in half. The Jeep then rolled over, ultimately landing on its wheels. Jersey Central Power & Light, Verizon, and Optimum were called to remove the fallen wires and replace the destroyed utility pole, and power was temporarily out in the surrounding area while repairs could be made. Along the way, the Jeep also destroyed a neighboring flowerbed and fence. Neither the driver nor his passenger were injured in the crash. The driver was issued a summons by Riverdale Police for careless driving. 

Car accidents are the number one cause of death among teens in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control, roughly 2,650 teens between the ages of 16 and 19 were killed, and 292,000 injured in crashes in 2011. While individuals between 15 and 24 comprise only 14% of the population, they account for 30% of all costs of car and truck accidents among males, and 28% of all such costs among females. A combination of factors contribute to these numbers, such as a tendency by teenagers to underestimate dangerous situations, a propensity toward speeding and following other cars closely, and a greater likelihood to drink before driving. Teenagers are also less likely to wear seat belts and more likely to be distracted by passengers or electronic devices. If you're a parent of a teen driver, ensure that your children understand the risks inherent in driving, including driving under the influence, driving with friends, or driving while distracted.

If you or a family member have been hurt by a teen driver, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can make sure that you're fully compensated for any injuries. Contact the Morristown law firm of Smith & Doran for a free consultation on your claims, at 973-292-0016.

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