Car accidents can happen in the most unexpected ways.
A teenager driver crashed his SUV in Idaho after one of the passengers used a lighter to set his armpit hair on fire, reported KTVB (9.18.14). Five teenagers, including the driver, were in the Ford Bronco at the time of the accident.
The crash happened outside of Boise. Eighteen-year-old Tristan Myers was driving when his front-seat passenger, a 16-year-old boy, ignited Myers’ armpit hair. The driver lost control of the vehicle and it rolled over.
None of the five teens in the SUV were wearing seat belts. Two teenage girls in the backseat were thrown from the vehicle. Myers, his front-seat passenger, and a boy in the rear seat remained in the vehicle. Three of the teenagers suffered non-life threatening injuries and were taken to a local hospital.
Myers first told police that he had swerved to avoid an animal in the road. Later, one of the boys admitted to lighting Myers’ armpit hair on fire.
Myers was citing for inattentive driving. The passenger with the lighter was ticketed for interfering with the driver’s safe operation of a vehicle.
Motor vehicle crashes are the top cause of death for U.S. teens, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Teenagers in the car with a teenager driver significantly multiply the risk of these vehicular accidents and the risk increases with the number of teen passengers.
Activities that take a teenage driver’s attention away from driving, such as talking on a cell phone, texting, eating, playing with the radio and driver distraction are a number of other reasons why teen car accidents occur. Young drivers are also at risk for drowsy driving and reckless driving.
In 2010, about 2,700 teens in the United States aged 16–19 were killed and almost 282,000 were treated in emergency departments for motor-vehicle crash related injuries. According to the CDC, the easiest way to prevent car crash deaths is require teens to always wear their seat belts.
Drivers, car passengers, cyclists, pedestrians and all other people using the road are required to use reasonable care to protect their own safety as well as the safety of others. If a road user fails to use reasonable care in a situation that results in harm to another person, it is considered negligence. Passengers may be considered negligent if they interfere with the driver’s operation of the car. If a person is injured because of the negligence of someone else, they may have a legal claim against the person who injured them.
The KTVB story cited is “Armpit hair fire causes crash that injures teens.”