2 Dead, 3 Injured After Vehicle Crashes Into Tree Then Lands in Cobbs Creek

On July 30, 2020, emergency responders received a call that a vehicle was in Cobbs Creek. The accident occurred about 9:30 p.m. near Upland Street on Cobbs Creek Parkway in Southwest Philadelphia.

A Jeep Cherokee with five occupants struck a tree and ended up in Cobbs Creek after going down an embankment. First responders pulled the occupants out of the car and transported all five to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. It is thought that the driver may have lost control of the vehicle.

It appears that everyone in the vehicle was teenagers. Three individuals were in stable, but serious condition in the hospital. The other two people died from injuries sustained in the accident.

The police continue to investigate the cause of this tragic accident.

Teen Driving Accidents

The good news is that with strict driving laws and increased awareness of the dangers of teen driving, crashes involving teen drivers have decreased in recent years.

According to AAA, researchers found that from 1994 through 2013, the number of people injured in accidents involving teen drivers decreased by 51 percent. The number of people killed in teen driving accidents decreased by 56 percent during the same period.

However, traffic accidents continue to be the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. Unfortunately, the dangers posed by teen drivers have not disappeared entirely. Almost two-thirds of the people killed or injured in accidents involving teen drivers are people other than the teen drivers.

Occupants of other vehicles have the highest risk of being killed or injured by a teen driver, followed by other passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Even though teenagers drive fewer miles than other drivers except for older drivers, the number of accidents involving teen drivers continues to be disproportionately high.

Risk Factors for Teen Drivers

Several risk factors can increase a teenager’s risk of motor vehicle accidents.

Newly licensed teenage drivers have a very high risk of being involved in a crash during the first few months of driving. Inexperienced drivers are more likely to make mistakes and underestimate the danger of certain situations and actions. 

Having passengers under the age of 21 in the vehicle also increases the risk of being involved in an accident. Having one passenger in the vehicle increases the crash risk by 44 percent. Two passengers double the crash risk, while three or more passengers quadruples the crash risk for teen drivers.

Speed, reckless driving, and distracted driving also are common factors in teen driving accidents. Teen drivers often do not recognize that these driving behaviors have a high risk of causing a car accident.

Alcohol and drug use can also be factors in teen driving accidents. Peer pressure can increase the risk as friends and passengers encourage a driver to participate in risky behaviors.

Fatigued or drowsy driving is also an issue with teen drivers. Many teenagers work, go to school, participate in sports, and engage in social activities. The pressure to succeed in all of these endeavors can result in a lack of sleep, which can increase the risk of a car crash.

While it may not increase the risk of a crash, failing to wear seat belts does increase the risk of death and catastrophic injury in teen driving accidents. Teen drivers and passengers are less likely to wear seat belts than other age groups.

Do I Need an Attorney for a Teen Driving Accident?

Teenagers involved in automobile accidents can sustain serious injuries. A teen driver may be out of school for months recovering from an accident. In some cases, a teenager may sustain permanent impairments that impact the teen’s choices for college and careers.

If your teenager is involved in an accident, it can be helpful to talk with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Because insurance companies often view teen drivers as unsafe or reckless, it is easy for an insurance company to blame a teenager driver for causing an accident.

Some insurance companies might try to place some of the blame on the teen driver to reduce the value of an accident claim. 

Under Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence laws, the value of a car accident claim can be lowered based on the percentage of blame placed on the driver for causing the accident. If the fault exceeds 50 percent, the driver cannot recover any money for an accident claim.

Therefore, the insurance company may try to blame your child for causing the crash even though the other driver is entirely to blame. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer can help ensure that your teenage driver is treated fairly by the insurance company after a car accident.