Alcohol, speed and youth major factors in motor vehicle accidents


As many Tennessee motorists know, speeding remains a leading factor in motor vehicle accidents. The total number of fatalities dropped by almost 10,000 to 33,561 between 2003 and 2012, yet speeding was still cited as a factor in about 30 percent of the deaths. Rather than viewing speed as a lone causative factor, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration puts it in context with a common co-factor and looks at the incidence by gender and age.

A blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher is considered driving under the influence in every state. NHTSA data showed that in any fatal motor vehicle accident during 2012 that involved a speeding driver, there was a 42 percent chance that the driver was also intoxicated. The total number of fatal accidents where one speeding driver tested for some alcohol in their system was almost as high as the number showing no alcohol.

As parents in Tennessee will likely suspect, age turned out to closely related to speeding and alcohol as factors in fatal wrecks in 2012. Males showed the highest incident of speeding fatalities across age groups, and this was particularly pronounced for those drivers who were under the age of 24. Underage drinkers were more than twice as likely to be speeding before a fatal accident than those who were driving at or below the speed limit.

Speeding, drinking and other dangerous driving habits can rob a family of loved ones and impose serious financial hardship. The cost of medical expenses, pain and suffering of victims, and other damages can make for a long road of recovery from the momentary actions of a negligent driver. An insurance settlement may bring some relief, but in some cases it will not begin to cover all the damages. An experienced attorney may be able to pursue further compensation on behalf of an injured victim by demonstrating the negligence of the driver in a personal injury lawsuit filed against the responsible party.