a2Asheville, NC- Driving is a complicated task and even the most experienced driver is vulnerable to traffic collisions. For teen drivers, traffic collisions are a leading cause of accidental death and sometimes teens who get behind the wheel don’t have a valid driver’s license. A recent fatal Asheville-area accident brings this issue to the forefront as North Carolina lawmakers cut funding for driver’s education programs throughout the state.
On February 1st, a 17 year-old Waynesville teen was killed when a 16 year-old unlicensed driver lost control of her car in a curve and crashed into a tree on Dogwood Road in Candler. The deceased teen Celeste Perez was ejected from the vehicle. The driver of the car, Lori Messer, and a backseat passenger were both injured and were taken to Mission Hospital for treatment, the Asheville Citizen Times reported.
Police say that speeding was a factor in the accident—Messer was driving 55 mph in a 35 mph zone– and noted that Messer did not have a driver’s license. Not one of three teens were wearing their seat belts, according to the Citizen Times.
Police are still investigating the accident, but said the driver could face charges.
A similar accident in July left a local football player dead. The teen driver responsible for that accident was also unlicensed.
This accident highlights a growing issue of unlicensed drivers in the Asheville area, an issue that is exacerbated by cuts in funding for driver’s education. In North Carolina teen drivers must participate in a driver’s education course before they are allowed to get their driver’s license. Or, they can wait until they turn 18. Without state funding for driver’s education, many teens in Western North Carolina are making the risky decision to drive without a license, because they are unable to afford the costs, according to the Citizen-Times.
Teens don’t have the experience and skills older motorist have and are known to take risks, such as speeding, that endanger their lives and the lives of others. Taking such risks means teen drivers and their parents can be held accountable for any injuries or deaths they cause as a result of their careless or negligent actions.
If you have been injured by a novice or experienced driver, you may be eligible for compensation to cover your accident-related cost, including medical bills and property replacement. Contact one of our accident attorneys in Asheville to discuss your case and how you can recoup the costs you have incurred as the result of another driver’s negligence.
Losing a loved one too soon is one of the most agonizing things a person can go through. During this troubling time an accident victim or those who have lost a loved one need someone they can rely on to fight for their rights. Our Asheville accident attorneys understand North Carolina personal injury laws and will work with that framework to get you the best accident settlement possible. Don’t hesitate to call them and set up a consultation.
You can also visit www.erichwoods.com for answers to your legal questions regarding personal injury matters.

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