As your South Carolina car accident lawyers have been mentioning in previous entries this summer, while the break from school and warm weather provide the opportunity for kids and teens to enjoy themselves, the downtime can lead to careless decisions and devastating tragedies. Of particular concern, are teenage drivers. During this season of prom, graduation, and summer vacation teens are highly more likely to be out driving late at night, and with the temptation to drink and drive or practicing the unsafe habit of texting while driving, it is sad to say, but some will not make it home, or suffer a life altering injury. Also mentioned in an earlier post, but reaffirmed in an article printed in a couple Monday’s past Post and Courier, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, auto accidents remain the leading cause of death for teens. However, statistics show that the number of teens being killed or injured in car accidents is down from 10 years ago. This could possibly be attributed to efforts of police departments to show the negative repercussions and dangers of drinking and driving by placing mangled vehicles around school campuses and towns. Additionally, police departments, schools, and other organizations and programs are now addressing the issue of distracted driving, another previous topic covered on your South Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog.
The number of cell phone related automobile accidents is steadily on the rise, as we have been able to do more and more with today’s devices. So much so that 31 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam have enacted bans on hand-held devices or texting to help reduce the dangers of distracted driving for the public, those dangers being severe accidents that present the potential for serious injuries or even death.Twelve of these laws were enacted in 2010 alone, according to distraction.gov, the official U.S. government website for distracted driving.
Teens that start drinking early are more likely continue to do so once they get their driver’s license, heightening the possibility for them to be involved drunk driving accidents. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, automobile accidents are the leading cause of death among young people ages 15 to 20, and about 1,900 people under the age of 21 die each year from accidents involving drinking and driving.
Sadly, national programs such as Save a Life do not always have the forceful impact upon teens that parents and teachers desire. Save a Life uses videos, personal accounts, a driving simulator, and an empty coffin to try and get the message across to teens that unsafe driving practices can be fatal. While this message gets across to some, for others the lesson just isn’t learned until a close friend or peer is in a drunk driving accident or a crash that was attributed to texting.
Recently, 19-year old from Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina has been charged with reckless homicide and driving under the influence (DUI) after driving the wrong direction on Interstate 26 on Sunday, according to Charleston Police. In the youngsters alleged drunken state he collided with a 72-year-old Ladson woman who ultimately died from her severe injuries sustained in the crash.
According to reports, the incident happened around 12:00 a.m. last Saturday night close to the junction off I-26 and the Septima Clark Expressway, just north of Coming Street, Downtown. Traffic at this junction is designed to be headed toward Downtown Charleston, but the teen was driving away from the Peninsula, eventually striking, and killing, the Ladson woman. Following the serious auto accident, both of the individuals involved were transported to Medical University Hospital.
While still at Medical University Hospital last Monday, and still under the watchful eye of Charleston Police, the teen’s bail was set at $107, 324.50. The sum amount was calculated by the combination of $55,000 bail on the charge of reckless homicide and $52,324 on the felony DUI.