A 17-year-old high school student has recently been charged with multiple crimes as the driver during a crash that injured his three young passengers. The crash poses an example of the dangers that can be posed by teen drivers. Read on to learn about the accident and the reasons why teenaged drivers have a high crash rate, and contact a Las Cruces personal injury attorney if you’ve been injured in a crash with a negligent or reckless driver in southern New Mexico.
Three Franklin High School students sent to hospital after crash
The accident leading to the criminal charges occurred on November 17, 2018 in the town of Santa Teresa. A 17-year-old male driver was carrying five passengers, all aged between 16 and 18, in his Jeep. Accident reports describe that the young man ignored a stop sign at the intersection of Leeds and Edinburgh, causing him to crash into a Mitsubishi Galant that was already traveling across the intersection. The collision caused the Jeep to roll over. Three of the Jeep’s passengers had to be hospitalized for their injuries.
When law enforcement attempted to perform field sobriety tests or a roadside breathalyzer on the young driver, he refused to participate. Instead, he told officers, “I’m drunk, just take me in.” At his recent court appearance, the young driver was charged with causing great bodily harm with a vehicle, three counts of child abuse, aggravated driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, and failing to stop at a stop sign. The court is still deciding whether to try him as an adult or a juvenile.
Teen drivers prone to dangerous driving habits
Teenagers are known for having a poor ability to make decisions. Unfortunately, this propensity for poor judgment also appears when teens are behind the wheel. Teen drivers’ inexperience and poor impulse control can combine to make them hazardous on the road. One study found that three out of four accidents involving teenaged drivers involved speeding, an inability to spot hazards on the road, or both factors. Teen drivers are not only likely to drive while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, but their crash rate is higher than adults at a similar blood alcohol level. Teens’ heavy use of smartphones often doesn’t end once they’re behind the wheel, as studies show that about a third of all teens have admitted to texting or talking on the phone while driving, and rates of crashes caused by distracted driving are about 40% higher in teen drivers than the general driving population. Teens who cause car accidents can be held financially liable alongside their parents, or their auto insurance carrier, for the costs of their victims’ injuries.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a crash in New Mexico, contact the seasoned and knowledgeable Las Cruces personal injury lawyer Samuel I. Kane for a free consultation on your case at 575-526-5263.