Author: Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP
On July 26th a 17-year-old boy who had been drinking with friends decided to get behind the wheel of an automobile and drive home. Sadly, he ended up in a head-on collision with another vehicle and lost his life, but also killed a father of two.
Despite repeated pleas from friends to not drive home drunk, Shawn Bell got behind the wheel anyway and changed the lives of two families forever.
What the statistics tell us
Unfortunately, this is not an unusual story, because millions of inebriated teens get behind the wheel every year, often killing themselves and others. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crashes are the leading cause of death among teens and about one-third of those are alcohol related. Studies also show that:
- Teen drinking kills about 6000 people each year—more than all illegal drugs combined.
- One in five teens binge drink but only one in one hundred parents believes his or her teen binge drinks.
- In 2011, 9,878 people died in drunk driving crashes – one every 53 minutes.
In addition to fatalities, drunk driving also causes thousands more injuries and devastated lives.
What to do if you see a drunk driver on the road
If you witness a drunk driver, weaving in and out of lanes, traveling in the wrong direction or other erratic driving behaviors, take the following actions:
- Stay as far away from the other vehicle as possible.
- Do not try to pass the vehicle or signal the driver to pull over. Doing so could result in a collision.
- Notice of the license plate number, and the make, model and color of the vehicle, if you can do so safely.
- Pull over and call 911. Report the location of the vehicle, including the name of the road or cross streets and the direction the vehicle is traveling. Provide a description of the vehicle and the manner in which the vehicle is being driven.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a drunk driving accident in New York , arrange a free consultation with one of our attorneys at Rosenberg & Gluck. We discuss the details of your accident and determine the prospects of pursuing a case.