Teen Drivers Exceedingly Vulnerable on Missoula Roads

On 05 May this year, 19-year-old Micah Nicholas was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide while under the influence after allegedly causing the death of 48-year-old Michael Haley while driving drunk. According to the documents that were subsequently presented in court, the Montana Highway Patrol investigated a rollover crash involving one vehicle on Golf View Road. The passenger was ejected from the car and was transported to Providence St. Patrick Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Although accidents can occur at any time, teen drivers seem to be at greater risk, especially if they partake in unsafe driving as Nicholas did. In order to avoid more teenage driver carnage on the road, it is imperative that young drivers follow basic road safety rules. Victims of road accidents caused by drunk or reckless drivers should consider consulting an auto accident attorney to protect their rights.

Driving under the influence

When a state trooper interviewed Nicholas, he admitted that he was speeding at the time of the crash. He also admitted that he had a beer while golfing earlier. His BAC tested at .221 – anything over .08 is considered to be driving under the influence. When you drive it is essential that you avoid any substances that can impair your driving ability. Teenagers often engage in underage drinking and then get behind the wheel either to impress their peers or out of sheer ignorance. With their vision and reaction time compromised they often lose control of the vehicles they are diving, causing severe carnage on the roads. It is important that teen drivers are aware of the implications of driving under the influence and realize that no amount of peer pressure is worth risking their own lives or the lives of others. Most importantly, those who will get involved in drunk driving incidents may consider getting help from a drunk driving accident attorney for legal advice.

Don’t let your passengers distract you

Any good auto accident lawyer will tell you that distracted driving is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents among teenagers. This sentiment is echoed by statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) that indicate that as many as 58% of teen crashes were a result of distracted driving. When you have passengers in the car it is imperative to ensure that they do not distract you. Even taking your eyes off the road for what seems like a second to talk to someone in the back seat can result in a very nasty accident. As the driver, it is your responsibility to ensure that your passengers behave in a responsible manner that includes them wearing their seat belts at all times.

Stay away from your phone

As dangerous as it is to drink and drive, texting and driving are believed to be more than 6 times as dangerous.  According to the NHTSA texting while you drive takes your eyes off the road for as long as 4.6 seconds which is the same amount of time it would take you to drive the length of a football field at 55 mph. There is no excuse for using your phone while driving. Not only can texting and driving result in a fatal accident but can result in a hefty fine as well – even if you do manage to avoid an accident. If you need to answer a call or send a text, make sure that you pull over where it is safe to do so.

A single bad decision, such as the one Nicholas made to drink and drive, can cost a teenager dearly. It is therefore extremely important to always adhere to all the rules of the road and drive in a safe and responsible manner.