The Auto Accident Triple Threat: Age, Speed, and Alcohol
- Nov 11, 2015
- By: Tom Schimmerling
To paraphrase famed Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, “youth is wasted on the young”. Their own opportunities in life, however, are not the only casualties when young people drive drunk. Unfortunately, each year we see more and more intoxicated young drivers play out dangerous and deadly scenarios behind the wheels of motor vehicles.
Young lives, cut short
A deadly auto accident that occurred recently in northeastern Pennsylvania serves as the latest example of the deadly combination that youth, alcohol and driving presents. Shortly before 1 a.m., a 16-year-old driver was thrown from a 1986 Chevrolet truck after losing control of the pick-up as it careened around a curve. The vehicle first collided with a stone wall, then flipped over.
While the accident left the driver dead, two passengers remained trapped inside the truck, with one of them eventually airlifted via helicopter to a nearby hospital. According to state police, alcohol and speed played a role in the crash. Indeed, the accident bears the hallmark of many similar indents, with age, chemical substances, time of day, and lack of seatbelts all playing a role in the fatal outcome.
Reflected in the numbers
According to a recent report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the percentage of fatal crashes that are speed-related has remained about 32 percent for over a decade. For drivers in speeding-related crashes, alcohol involvement is a common factor, with 42 percent of speeding drivers indicating blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) that demonstrate that they were legally drunk (.08 or higher). When age is factored in, the numbers become more startling. Indeed, 28 percent of under-21 speeding drivers involved in fatal crashes had BACs of .08 or higher, while only 13 percent of non-speeding drivers under 21 involved in fatal crashes had similar BACs.
You shouldn’t have to pay for others’ mistake
Intoxicated drivers and their passengers are not the only victims of youthful indiscretion, as many such accidents seriously injure or kill other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Victims who bear little or no fault for their injuries have a right to be compensated for. Similarly, family members affected by the untimely death of a loved one frequently deserve justice and compensation.
If you or your next of kin have been injured in a car accident, call a compassionate accident lawyer who can help begin to heal.