Fatal Crash Provides a Cautionary Tale Regarding the Dangers of Mixing Alcohol and Speed
A fatal Cobb County bicycle accident this month serves as a sad testament to the dangers that drivers who elect to engage in serious forms of dangerous driving pose to cyclist. The driver in the fatal crash was traveling at nearly double the speed limit as his vehicle raced along at a rate of 86 mph in a 45 mph zone after reportedly consuming alcohol according to a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC), based on information provided by Cobb police.
The driver allegedly lost control of his car and struck the bicyclist before running off the road and colliding with a tree. The car rolled over and killed an occupant in the front passenger seat of the speeding driver's vehicle according to the AJC report. The Cobb police told the AJC that the passenger's daughter reported that the driver and passenger were drinking prior to being involved in the collision. The bicyclist is expected to survive the collision after being rushed to an Atlanta Medical Center, but he sustained both neck and spinal cord injuries according to the arrest warrant for the driver accused of first degree vehicular homicide and related charges that include DUI, reckless driving, speeding, failure to maintain his lane and possession of cocaine.
Although this accident is still under investigation, the law enforcement report suggests that the combination of excessive speed and alcohol may have caused the collision. This combination of vehicle collision risk factors is extremely deadly, dangerous and preventable. While drunk drivers cause the death of approximately 10,000 people per year, excessive speed is a factor in about a third of all motor vehicle collisions according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
When alcohol and speed are both involved in collisions, they tend to magnify the effective of each on driving ability. Drivers who are exceeding the speed limit have less time to engage in evasive maneuvers or stop to avoid a collision. When vehicles travel at high rates of speed, drivers also are more likely to lose control of their vehicle especially when negotiating turns, curves or sudden evasive maneuvers. Because alcohol tends to reduce inhibitions, drivers are more likely to drive at an unsafe speed when they are impaired by alcohol. Further, alcohol also diminishes reaction time, coordination, decision-making and other driving skills further compromising the ability of a speeding driver to operate a motor vehicle safely.
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