Tiffin fatal accident reminder of teen driver risks - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tiffin fatal accident reminder of teen driver risks


Officials continue to investigate what caused an 18 year old driver to lose control in a Monday night crash that killed one and sent seven others to the hospital.

Mackenzie Lown, 14, lost her life in the accident.  Lown was a  freshman at Clear Creek Amana High School, where she took part in dance, cross country, and was recently elected to the student council.

"She was a very-well liked, active, and talented young lady, and certainly a great loss for all of us," said superintendent Denise Schares.

Lown was riding with five other students back to the school from cross country practice.

While the cause of the accident has yet to be determined, data indicates an increased risk for young drivers accompanied by teen passengers.

Professor of Occupational and Environmental Health and director of the University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center Dr. Corinne Peek-Asa says the statistics are alarming.  When a teen driver is in the car with no adult supervision and two teen passengers, the risk for an accident more than doubles.

"When you put other teens in the car, they tend to distract each other even more," Peek-Asa said.

For three years now there has been a push for legislators to change driving regulations.

A proposal looks to improve graduated drivers licensing in Iowa.

Under the plan, teens would be forced to have an instructional permit for 12 months instead the current required 6 months.

An intermediate license would then be issued that would require the new driver to limit passengers to one non-family member under the age of 21.  If the teen driver goes 12 months without a violation, then he or she can drive with no restrictions.

This proposal is expected to be taken up yet again at the next legislative session, where it has failed to be passed into law previously.

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