Deadly New Jersey Prom Accident Raises Safety Concerns

Prom season means the party of the year for high school students and all-night worries for their parents. But while most kids return without incident with memories they’ll cherish for a lifetime, others never make it home. Recently, a tragic accident the afternoon after prom left one 17-year-old high school student dead and three others injured after their Benz sedan, rented for the weekend of the junior prom, veered off Greendale Road in Fredon in Sussex County and flipped over. This horrible tragedy, reported by on May 14, has devastated the girl’s family and community.

As personal injury attorneys managing auto accident cases throughout New Jersey, we see accidents involving young drivers far too often. While the report is short on facts and does not name the cause of the accident, there are a few points that cause us concern:

  • A teen driver operating a rental car — It’s very important that novice drivers be familiar with the vehicle they are operating and comfortable behind the wheel. Allowing a novice driver to operate an unfamiliar vehicle is not prudent.
  • A crowd of teenagers in the car — Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents. Having a group of boisterous teens in the car does a novice driver no favors.
  • Driver fatigue — Although proms end around 11 pm generally, after-parties run into the wee hours of the morning. How much sleep had the driver gotten and was he impaired by fatigue?

As additional facts become known, we may get a clearer picture of how the accident came about. But for now, we’d also like to offer some general tips to keep your teen drivers safe, not only during prom season, but into the summer months as well:

  • Limit nighttime driving — Driving at night presents numerous challenges to novice drivers: visibility, fatigue, and taking precautions against dangerous maneuvers by other vehicles. Encourage short trips along safe, familiar routes.
  • Limit the number of friends allowed in the car — Turning the car into a rolling party is asking for trouble.
  • Have a strict alcohol/drug/cellphone use policy — Parents have to be vigilant about the temptations that teenagers face. Have a good heart-to-heart talk and set down some clear, strict rules.

Finally, when it comes to prom, limousines are safer than having kids drive themselves. However, you should be aware of the risks inherent in stretch limousines. Not only are these vehicles difficult to maneuver even for professional drivers, but they lack the structural integrity of regular-sized limos if there is a crash. Moreover, passengers ride unrestrained, so even moderate-speed accidents can be deadly. Plus, too many kids in one vehicle can lead to rowdiness that could be distracting to the driver.

Help your child and friends choose a reputable limousine company. Note whether the company has a policy against allowing underage drinking and ask how vigorously they enforce it. Ask the driver to stick to surface streets rather than taking the freeway if at all possible. Your child’s prom should be a positive experience, and that starts with safety.

As peer-to-peer ride sharing apps like Uber & Lyft grow in popularity, it is important to remember that a rider must be at least 18 years of age to have an Uber account and request rides. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by someone 18 years of age or older on any ride.

If you have been injured in an auto accident due to someone’s negligence, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers are prepared to help. Call us at 973-364-8300 or contact our office online.


Speak With a Skilled Auto Accident Attorney

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, call us. We are here for you. The consultation is Free. You will not pay any fees unless we win your case, because here at Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers, it's all about getting results for you.

Our Verdicts & Settlements

  • $5.8 Million Settlement Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers Obtained a $5.8 Million Settlement on Behalf of Injured Client
  • $5.35 Million Settlement Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers Obtained a $5.35 Million Settlement at Trial on Behalf of a Pedestrian Struck by a Tractor Trailer
  • $4.8 Million Settlement Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers Obtained a $4.8 Million Settlement on Behalf of a Woman Injured in a Trucking Accident
  • $2.25 Million Settlement Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers Obtained a $2.25 Million Settlement for an Auto Accident Victim in Bergen County

Meet Our Trial Attorneys

The trial attorneys at Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers have decades of experience with personal injury litigation. We understand the difficulties accident victims experience. Our staff is especially skilled at dealing with medical providers and insurance companies to navigate these claims and allow you to focus on what is truly important - getting back to health.

What Our Clients Are Saying About Us

  • "Best personal injury law firm in New Jersey! My case was not a simple case, but Ed Capozzi and his team took it head on. It was a pleasure to deal with Ed Capozzi and Corey Dietz. All their knowledge and fast response to any questions I had throughout the case made it easier on me. I can’t forget about Mr. Capozzi’s wonderful paralegal. Ella Twardowski was a pleasure to talk to and work with. Everybody was kind and thoughtful. This team of attorneys never made me feel like I was just another case. They make you feel like friends. If you need an personal injury lawyer, give Ed Capozzi and Corey Dietz a call! They won't let you down! Thanks to everyone at Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers! You guys rock!"

    Matt Wislocki
  • "I would never choose another law firm!! Mr. Edward Capozzi and Valentina treated me like family. I was scared to go to court but when I did, he was very aggressive and fought for me. I got so much money for my case!! I can't say it enough, THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!"

    Margarita C.
  • "Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers is a top notch law firm. I worked specifically with Mr. Capozzi, and was very impressed with his knowledge of personal injury law, and his commitment to ensuring I got the result I deserved."

    Stephen Quigg
  • Best Lawyers
    Best Law Firms US News
    Bergen's Top Lawyers 2016
    American Association for Justice
    Best Attorneys of America
    Super Lawyer
    America's Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys 2019

Our Locations

Speak to an attorney today!

If you have been injured in an accident, call us! We are here for you 24 hours a day. The consultation is free. You will not pay any fees unless we win your case, because here at Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers, it is all about getting results for you.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Call Email chat