Drunk Driving Accidents

For Teens, Distracted Driving Not Seen as Accident Danger

2347598For many teenagers, texting while driving is not as dangerous as people make it out to be. This is according to a new survey from State Farm Insurance. The insurance giant found that most teens believe texting is less risky than drinking and driving, though research shows it could be even more dangerous.

According to a press release from the company, 36 percent of teens between 14 and 17 years of age strongly agree they could be killed one day if they regularly text and drive while 55 percent believe drinking and driving could lead to a fatal accident. Sixty-three percent believe they could get into an accident from texting and driving, while 78 percent believe they could get into an accident if they are drinking and driving.

The survey was administered by Harris Interactive in July and asked the questions of nearly 700 teens.

Perhaps not surprisingly, those teens who already text and drive don’t see it as dangerous as those who refrain from the practice. Among those who abstain, 73 percent believe texting and driving could lead to an accident, while only 52 percent of those who actually text and drive believe they could be in an accident. Continue reading


NHTSA: Alcohol & Drugs Common Factors in Serious Accidents

A new study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that numerous fatal accidents in the U.S. are directly related to alcohol and drugs consumption. While there’s no surprise that alcohol and drugs hinder your driving ability, the sheer number of fatal accidents involving intoxicated driving is a little unnerving.

In all, more than half of the people killed in car accidents in this country had alcohol or drugs in their system at the time of the accident.

The NHTSA looked at data from 14 states and found that men and people driving at night were most likely to have alcohol or drugs show up on the toxicology screen conducted after the accident. It isn’t clear how much they had in them, or whether it was enough to cause impairment, but there is little doubt that at least some of them, if not most, were impaired.

While we don’t know how concentrated the levels were and can’t definitively say the drugs caused the accident, there’s a pretty good chance they were at least a contributing factor.

57% of 20,150 drivers who were killed from 2005 to 2009 tested positive for at least one drug, including alcohol. Alcohol was the most commonly found substance, followed by marijuana, and prescription stimulants.

Among men, the statistic was 60%. For women, it was less than half. Also, those who crashed at night or on the weekend were more likely to test positive for drugs. Continue reading


Racing Mercedes Near Radio City, Piloted by Drunk Driver, Injures Five

Pedestrians in front of Radio City Music Hall got a show they weren’t expecting this past weekend. According to the NY Daily News, they witnessed two Mercedes’ racing before one of them slammed into a hotel shuttle bus, injuring several. “It was horrific,” said one witness of the scene.

The driver of the wrecked Mercedes was apparently racing his high-end car with another similar vehicle. He ran a red light and broadsided the shuttle, which was heading east on 50th street, bound for the airport. It was about 4:40 a.m. and as the passengers were headed to catch their early morning flights, Imran Ahmed of Jersey City, was apparently still celebrating from the night before.

One passenger of the bus was partially ejected and pinned underneath the vehicle. A group of bystanders lifted it off of him so he could escape.

“His bones had to be crushed,” said one of the good Samaritans. “I’m surprised he survived that.” Continue reading


Doctor Pleads Guilty in Drunk Driving Accident; Civil Suit is Probable

Last August, 32-year old homeless man, Jason Farnham was struck by a BMW while walking. That BMW was driven by Dr. Frank Vogel, 66, of Franklin Square. Just this week, Vogel pled guilty to driving drunk in the accident and is expected to be sentenced in upcoming days.

Farnham was initially listed in critical condition, according to Syracuse.com. He is still recovering from his injuries at The Centers at St. Camillus.

The younger man was walking on the night of August 21, 2011 on the west side of the Onondaga Lake Parkway, on or near the shoulder of the road. Vogel was driving southbound when the drunk driving accident occurred.

In his plea, Dr. Vogel admitted to being intoxicated with a blood alcohol level of at least .18, more than twice the legal limit. But according to the prosecution in the case, his blood alcohol level was more like .20.

The fact that Vogel stopped his vehicle and rendered assistance to Farnham while waiting for emergency personnel likely affected the plea agreement. According to the agreement, Vogel will serve five years’ probation with the first six months being served in the Onondaga County Correctional Facility. Continue reading