Wrong Way Accident Reminds of Drinking and Driving Risk among College Students
The college experience is an exciting time for many who are living away from home and experiencing an enormous amount of independence for the first time in their lives. The rigor of studying and preparing for exams is offset by the multitude of social activities and parties. There are many college students who join fraternities and sororities that offer social interaction and a fair amount of parties with significant amounts of alcohol. This new level of freedom can pose a challenge as young adults still developing habits for drinking responsibly. A recent fatal wrong way car crash that claimed the lives of five people, including four fraternity brothers, serves as a reminder that college age kids are far more likely to die in a car accident than older adults. Our Cobb County car crash attorneys express our deepest sympathies to the victims of this terrible accident and their families.
The victims of this fatal crash were riding in a Hyundai Sonata when it collided head-on with an SUV. The SUV was engulfed in flames and the driver of the vehicle died at the crash site. All four fraternity brothers in the other vehicle also suffered fatal injuries in the fiery crash. The accident is still being investigated by authorities to determine if drugs or alcohol were a contributing factor. Drug and alcohol intoxication constitutes a common cause of fatal head-on crashes because drivers impaired by an intoxicating substance are more apt to become confused and disoriented so that they enter the freeway from an off-ramp or proceed in the wrong direction down a one way street.
Although law enforcement authorities did not provide any evidence that drivers in either vehicle were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, drunk driving, which is frequently a factor in head-on collisions, is still a serious public health risk for college students. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Public Health found that over the course of a year half of college students in the study under the age of 21 admitted drinking and driving while 43 percent indicated they had ridden with an underage drunk driver.
An equally troubling aspect of the study suggests that alcohol awareness programs targeting college students may not be effective in mitigating the drunk driving fatality risk among this population. The authors of this study noted that prior studies have revealed that college freshman are more likely than older college students to drive under influence. However, this new study indicated that the prevalence of drunk driving increases once college kids reach the age that they can legally drink. The researchers speculate that this increase is related to the fact that college students over 21 have more opportunities for risk taking because they have a higher rate of car ownership and can legally purchase alcohol in stores and bars.
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Alcohol-related accidents claim the lives of far too many college students with bright futures. We urge parents to talk to their kids headed off to college about the legal, physical and financial risk of driving while under the influence of alcohol. If you or your child has been injured or a loved one has died in a drunk driving accident, the intoxicated driver may be financially responsible for the consequences of his or her actions. Our Atlanta Car Accident Attorneys at Montlick and Associates have been representing those who suffer serious injuries for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.