A car crashed into the Uplift Heights Primary Preparatory School near North Hampton Road yesterday morning. The vehicle erupted into flames and the driver died. School was not in session at the time, thank goodness, or this wreck could have been far worse.
Twitter feeds of the collision like this one showed a crumpled pile of metal no longer identifiable as a car.
Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the crash but cited speed as an obvious factor. The time of 5.20 a.m. makes drug or alcohol-impairment probable.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released its 2015 traffic fatality statistics last month. Guess what the organization named as primary contributing factors? Alcohol, speeding, lack of seat belt use, and “problematic driver behaviors” again led the list. I assume that last one includes texting. No surprise there since these factors are the same every year.
The bad news is that speeding still poses a big problem. The good news is the percentage of crashes involving has slid slowly down over the past decade.
9,557 people lost their lives in speeding-related crashes in 2015, accounting for 27 percent of all fatal traffic accidents. That’s still a lot, but, a substantial improvement over 2006, when 13,609 people were killed because of speeding, equaling close to one-third of all fatal crashes.
You may be surprised to learn that a high percentage of fatal collisions occur on rural or minor roads, like the scene of Tuesday morning’s fiery crash into the school. 10,064 of the 35,092 total fatal accidents happened on minor roads. Speeding contributed to 32 percent of those accidents.
Alcohol and speeding are in and of themselves serious risk factors in fatal accidents, but mixing the two is a deadly combination.
Alcohol was a contributing factor in more fatal crashes in which speeding was identified as a contributing factor than in fatal crashes in which speed was not a factor. In fact, a driver killed in a speeding-related accident was twice as likely to also be drunk.
The driver was just over .08 percent blood alcohol concentration in 41 percent of fatal speeding accidents and over .1 percent BAC in 47 percent of speeding-related traffic deaths.
We all know the stereotype, the drunk person doing something out of character and, quite frankly, not too smart. Unfortunately, this stereotype is often the reality when it comes to drunk driving.
Alcohol often emboldens drivers to take risks that he would never take while sober. Add this risk-taking quality to diverted attention, slowed cognition, delayed reaction and impaired vision that are common to alcohol-impairment and you can understand why drunk driving is so incredibly dangerous.
If you or a family member has been injured in an automobile or truck collision, you should immediately contact a personal injury lawyer. The case can quickly become complicated. He can give you advice on which doctors to see, how to pay for your medical bills, how to file on various insurance policies, how to get reimbursed for your lost wages, and how to get compensation for your pain and other damages you have suffered.