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  #1  
Old 21 November 2014, 07:16 AM
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No 5 family members killed on 'dream trip' to Disney

A 16-year-old boy driving his parents and siblings on a "dream trip" to Disney World apparently fell asleep at the wheel, causing the sport-utility vehicle to veer off the highway and roll over, killing three children and two adults.

http://seattletimes.com/html/nationw...adlycrash.html
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  #2  
Old 21 November 2014, 01:16 PM
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So sad.

I don't think I would let my sixteen year old drive the whole family at 11:00pm, especially during a long trip. A driver that age just isn't experienced enough to handle emergency situations, or know when they are getting too tired to drive anymore.
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Old 21 November 2014, 01:32 PM
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I'd let mine drive the whole family but not with everyone else not wearing a seatbelt.
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  #4  
Old 21 November 2014, 01:58 PM
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Generally interstate driving is very easy, unless you hit a major metropolitan area. It's easier than full-access highways and city streets, because everyone is going the same way on your stretch of pavement and there are no crossroads or pedestrians or etc. to deal with. In general, though, I would be uncomfortable letting such a new driver handle night driving other than short distances around the neighborhood. The dotted lines can get very mesmerizing on long drives with very little to occupy your mind. It takes more experience to continue driving and find ways to stay alert.

ETA: and on this, I'm with Ganz - no one should be going anywhere on the public roads without their seat belt on.
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Old 21 November 2014, 02:10 PM
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Ugh. And the driver survived. Poor kid. At least one of his younger siblings should have been in a safety seat, too.
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Old 21 November 2014, 03:28 PM
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On a long trip, like a 16 hour 1050 KM one, I don't think I'd let a young driver be at the wheel, especially at night time.

It's a really sad story.
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Old 21 November 2014, 04:31 PM
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I agree Alarm. Long highway driving at night can get difficult and tiring. Were both of the parents sleeping when the accident happened?
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Old 21 November 2014, 04:41 PM
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Here in Texas, a 16 year old could have been driving for well over a year. Age was not a factor in this tragedy unless it is a fact that 16 year olds fall asleep faster than older people.
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Old 21 November 2014, 04:57 PM
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Drivers 16 - 19 are three times more likely to be likely to be involved in a fatal crash than drivers 20 or older.

Cite
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Old 21 November 2014, 05:42 PM
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Someone who's been driving for "well over a year" is still a relatively inexperienced driver. And we don't know what types or duration of driving he's been doing during that year.
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Old 21 November 2014, 05:48 PM
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When I was 16, my dad thought it would be fun to direct me, as a recently licensed driver, onto a massive interstate... thing in Seattle without warning me what I was getting into (what are those called? There were multiple overpasses, several levels, and I think I5 was involved). Up until then, I'd done all my driving on Vancouver Island, where the most major highway has a speed limit of 90 kph. He thought it was hilarious, and I obviously didn't get anyone killed, but those aren't they types of games you want to play with a new driver and your entire family in the back (we were actually on our way to Disneyland too).
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Old 21 November 2014, 05:53 PM
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I'd wager the most experienced driver on the planet would find it difficult to control a vehicle when they're asleep at the wheel.

I'm not suggesting age wasn't a factor in the accident, but I'd be just as interested to see what effect fatigue had in it as age and experience.

~Psihala
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Old 21 November 2014, 06:07 PM
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My first post was initially a long one, where I talked about the age of the driver, his relative experience, how long he had had his licence, whether his parents were asleep or awake.

I shortenend it because I believe that, although they are all good questions, the tragedy in this case is that the driver will now have to carry the guilt, real or self-imposed, about the accident.

Did he "volunteer" to do the highway driving, was he "voluntold"? Did he badger mom and dad for his turn at the wheel? Did his parents allow him, thinking as was mentioned upthread a bit, that a highway at night would have less traffic? (not always true... I've always found that Highway 401 in Ontario often has more truck traffic at night. Nothing like a convoy of tired truckers barelling down on your car to scare the bejesus out of you)
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  #14  
Old 21 November 2014, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Someone who's been driving for "well over a year" is still a relatively inexperienced driver. And we don't know what types or duration of driving he's been doing during that year.
And that has what to do with 16 year olds falling asleep faster than those older? Age and experience have nothing to do with fatigue.

And given that so many did not have their seatbelts fastened shows the parents were not the best at teaching good driving habits.

By the way, the first reports on the radio that I heard as I was driving to work that morning said that it was thought the driver left the road and over corrected trying to get back on the pavement. That would have been a crash due to driver inexperience. The later reports say the driver fell asleep. That has nothing to do with experience or age.
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Old 21 November 2014, 06:16 PM
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They might also have thought that a 16YO would be less sleepy at that time of night. He may actually have felt less sleepy.
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Old 21 November 2014, 06:21 PM
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I don't agree that experience has nothing to do with the potential to fall asleep at the wheel, particularly at the lower-experience end of the spectrum. Someone that young might be slower to recognize their own symptoms of fatigue than someone who has been driving for many years.

My point is not that age did play a role in the crash, only that there's no reason to dismiss it as a possible factor outright.
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  #17  
Old 21 November 2014, 06:23 PM
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Ugh, the thought of losing that many family members at once just breaks me. A few years ago, my boss lost three immediate family members at once, also due to a car wreck. She had a mental breakdown and ended up moving away to be closer to other family. I can't imagine what this kid is going through.
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  #18  
Old 21 November 2014, 06:25 PM
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It was probably a judgement issue, clearly he judge wrong. But, I wouldn't put a 16 year old's judgement to that particular test. It wasn't fair to him to be put in that situation. His parents made a serious mistake. It sounds like they made several mistakes which just goes to show that wisdom doesn't always come with age.
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Old 21 November 2014, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardM View Post
By the way, the first reports on the radio that I heard as I was driving to work that morning said that it was thought the driver left the road and over corrected trying to get back on the pavement. That would have been a crash due to driver inexperience. The later reports say the driver fell asleep. That has nothing to do with experience or age.
Could easily be both. If he dozed off (even a micro sleep) and went off the edge that bump could have woken him up. On waking up he thinks "Oh crap! I'm off the edge of the road" and overcorrects to get back on it.


I'm personally lucky that the one time I went off the edge and overcorrected (on I-80 in SD during a rainstorm) there was light enough traffic that no one hit me during my two 360 spins and that there was a grass median instead of any kind of concrete dividers. I lost a hubcap and some fries, could so easily have killed myself and my ex.
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Old 21 November 2014, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardM View Post
And given that so many did not have their seatbelts fastened shows the parents were not the best at teaching good driving habits.
I'm not blaming the driver for this accident. His parents were the adults in that car, it is ultimately their responsibility. I agree with Beachlife that the 16YO should never have been in that position. He should never have driven at all with unbelted passengers.

That doesn't change the fact that a year or 18 months is not extensive driving experience. As chillas said, a less experienced driver might not recognize when his fatigue became dangerous.
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