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Teen Driver Causes Fatal Crash

CarAcc4

A young motorist crossed a center divider in Palm City, killing one person and seriously injuring two others.

Witnesses and authorities state that the accident happened on Southwest High Meadows Avenue, not far from Southwest Golden Bear Way. For unknown reasons, a southbound Kia strayed onto the northbound side, striking a Ford Ranger head-on. A Kia passenger was subsequently declared dead at a local hospital; the Ranger and Kia drivers were seriously injured in the crash.

The wreck happened shortly before 7 a.m.

What Causes Car Crashes?

Given the time of day and the age of the driver, drowsy driving may have caused this car crash. Classes at many Florida high schools start before 8 a.m., and teen drivers have a 29 percent higher at-fault accident rate at this time of day. Most teenagers need about nine hours of sleep a night, so according to researchers, an early start time has “deleterious consequences such as decrements in mood and increased risk taking” that elevate the risk for causing car crashes. Per this same study, teens that are on the road later have a significantly lower crash frequency, and the early hour did not affect adults at all.

Nevertheless, lack of sleep affects adults at other times. Although many adults would never dream of driving after three or four drinks, they do not think twice about driving home after a long day at work or a late night on the town. But fatigue and alcohol have roughly the same effect on the brain in terms of judgment ability, reaction time, concentration ability and other core driving functions.

Some other common car crash causes include:

  • Speed: At a higher velocity, drivers have less time to react to emergency situations, and according to Newton’s Second Physical Law, speed multiplies the force in collisions between two objects.
  • Legal Drugs: Many prescription and non-prescription medications depress the nervous system; a little bit of alcohol or fatigue often magnifies this effect.
  • Distraction: Driving, like operating any other heavy machine, requires a high level of training and concentration. It is possible to multitask on a limited basis (g. watch the road and talk to a passenger), but more extensive distraction is often a recipe for disaster.

If the tortfeasor (negligent driver) caused a serious injury, the victim is entitled to compensation for noneconomic damages, such as emotional distress, in addition to lost wages and other economic damages.

Third Party Liability

Teenagers cannot own property, so if the tortfeasor was under 18, negligent entrustment always applies, because the tortfeasor must have been driving a vehicle that legally belonged to someone else. Essentially, if the owner knew or should have known that the tortfeasor was incompetent, the owner is liable for damages.

Persons without valid driver’s licenses are usually incompetent as a matter of law. If the tortfeasor had a bad driving record, liability attaches if the owner knew or should have known about the tortfeasor’s sketchy driving history.

Reach Out to Experienced Attorneys

Car crashes that involve young drivers often have unique factual and legal issues. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Port St. Lucie, contact Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. An attorney can arrange for victims to receive ongoing medical care, even if they have no money and no insurance.

Resources:

tcpalm.com/story/news/local/martin-county/2017/03/11/woman-dead-after-wednesday-multi-vehicle-crash-in-martin/99051618/

aasmnet.org/articles.aspx?id=5176

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