by Sharlyn Petit
Driver error. Single vehicle. Night driving. Those characteristics are time and time again the
most common factors in teen driver crashes.
Last week, a 16-year-old Vancouver teen was hospitalized after striking a pole along Interstate 205 in Clark County. According the Washington State Patrol, the teen crashed her car shortly before 1:15 a.m. when she swerved to avoid hitting an animal.
Besides violating Washington State’s intermediate driver’s license restrictions for driving between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. (tsk, tsk!), the teen in this story made another dangerous error – she swerved.
The report didn’t share what type of animal was in the road, but at high speeds, you’re much more likely to risk injury or death if you swerve to avoid a large animal, rather than hit it. Your best bet is to steer straight and brake firmly.
Read more about the Vancouver crash at
With more deer on our Northwest roads starting this fall, check out this post from a few years back:
Five driving tips to avoid hitting deer.