Driving has become such an integrated part of American life that we often forget how dangerous road travel can be. Driving requires a great deal of attention, and it can be a challenge to manage distractions while on the road. Factor in the inexperience of teenage drivers, and perhaps a sense of immortality and the result can be tragic. A recent car accident has captured headlines in Wisconsin and across the nation, and highlights the importance of remaining alert and attentive at all times while behind the wheel.
The accident took place in early August around 1:20 p.m. in Hudson, Wisconsin. The preliminary investigation suggests that the 17-year-old driver of a 200 Dodge Durango was driving at highway speed on Interstate 94. There were three other teenage boys riding in the vehicle. Witnesses say that the boys were trying to get the attention of a teenage girl who was in another vehicle. The driver attempted to find a piece of paper in the center console of the vehicle, while one of the boys riding in the backseat unbuckled his seatbelt.
The distraction of the driver and passengers resulted in the vehicle crashing into a semitrailer that was stopped due to traffic, which had become congested as a result of a nearby construction project. The driver and two of his passengers died as a result of injuries sustained during the crash. The sole survivor, a 17-year-old boy, suffered a broken collarbone and has been released from the hospital. He has given statements to police that confirms that the boys were trying to give a phone number to a girl in another car at the time of the incident.
There is little doubt that this car accident could have been prevented. All of the families involved are struggling to deal with the loss of so many young lives. Although not every case will lead to criminal or civil litigation, it is important for Wisconsin residents to know that when an accident occurs as a result of driver distraction, there is ample legal recourse available to those who are injured as a result of the negligence of another party, as well as to families who lose loved ones in these types of accidents.
Source: Pioneer Press, "Wisconsin teens' crash deaths: Boys were trying to give girl phone number," Andy Rathbun, Aug. 8, 2012