The loss of a teen life on the highways of Georgia is always tragic. In late January, a 19-year-old lost his life on Dyer Road.

Police identified the teen killed in Newnan as Joshua Paul Lanning, 19, of Greenville.

A report in the Newnan Times-Herald stated Lanning’s 2005 Nissan Maxima ran off the west shoulder of Dyer Road. He steered back to the southbound lane and lost control, running off the east shoulder.

Trooper Jordan Watkins with the Georgia State Patrol said the Nissan then crashed into a tree. Tragically, the teen driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

Lanning was traveling alone, according to Watkins and no other cars were involved.

Investigators were reported to be still looking into the cause of the accident but said Lanning was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash.

Teen Killed in Newnan

Teen Killed in Newnan auto crash was not wearing safety belt

The majority of crashes on the highways of Georgia are single-car crashes. The Georgia Department of Transportation states about 60 percent of fatal car crashes in Georgia involve a single vehicle. Often a motorist failed to maintain a lane. In more than half of the fatal crashes, drivers or passengers were not wearing their seat belts.

The department recently set up the “Drive Alert Arrive Alive” campaign to educate young drivers about the fatal consequences of distracted driving.

There are some really good reasons to wear a seat belt in a car. There is plenty of evidence that seat belts save lives in our state. However, Georgia has been criticized because the state lacks seat belt laws for passengers in back seats.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported rear seat passengers are three times more likely to lose their lives a crash if they aren’t buckled up.

However, Georgia is one of over 20 states in which adults are not required to wear a seat-belt in the back seat

A recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) explored the safety implications of not wearing a seat belt in the back seat of your car or truck.

In 2013, just 55 percent of rear seat passengers age 8 and above who were killed in Georgia were wearing their seat belt, compared with 70 percent in the front seat.

If you have lost a loved one in a car wreck, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the driver who was to blame for the crash. Please call the Law Office of Michael West at (404) 913-1529.