Buckle Up: Young Man Killed by Wrong-Way Driver

Last week a 24-year-old man from Alton, Illinois was killed by a wrong-way driver on U.S. Highway 67 in St. Charles County. The wrong-way driver was hospitalized in serious condition.  While the exact cause of the accident is still under investigation, the highway patrol did note that neither driver was wearing a seat belt.  This tragic accident serves as an important reminder about driving safety and seat belt use.

  • Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among those aged 1-54 in the U.S.
  • For adults and older children (who are big enough for seat belts to fit properly), seat belt use is the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes. Yet millions do not buckle up on every trip.
  • A total of 21,022 passenger vehicle occupants died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2014.
  • More than half of teens (13-19 years) and adults (20-44 years) who died in crashes in 2014 were unrestrained at the time of the crash.
  • Young adult drivers and passengers (18-24) have the highest crash-related non-fatal injury rates of all adults. Non-fatal crash injuries to drivers and passengers resulted in more than $45 billion in lifetime medical and work loss costs in 2013.

The three main causes of car accidents are: 

  1. Speed – driving too fast for road conditions
  2. Impairment – driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  3. Distraction – diverting attention away from the primary task of driving

Oftentimes all three of these factors play a role in a single crash. Whatever the reason for a car crash, drivers are urged to take note of these risk factors and make the necessary adjustments to their driving habits.

  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • Always obey posted speed limits. These limits are set on roads and curves based on past history of  traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities.
  • Always make other arrangements if you have been drinking or are under the influence of drugs. With the advent of Uber and other ride sharing apps, it is now easier than ever to call a ride from virtually anywhere.
  • Always make it a habit to address phone calls, texts and social media messages BEFORE you hit the road.  Once underway, place your phone in a spot where it is not easily accessible.  Wait until you arrive at your destination or pull over to do ANYTHING that might cause a distraction  – talking/texting on mobile device, eating or drinking, putting on make-up, adjusting mirrors, etc.

Casey & Devoti is a St. Louis-based personal injury firm.  Our partners, Matt Casey and Matt Devoti, are seasoned litigators who together have nearly 40 years of trial experience.  They specialize strictly in personal injury matters, such as:  car, truck and train accidents, victims of impaired/distracted driving, medical malpracticebirth injuries, product liability, slip/trip/fall injurieselder care and sexual abuse, Workers’ Compensation, and wrongful death.  Matt and Matt are also authorized speakers for EndDD.org’s ‘End Distracted Driving’ Awareness Campaign.  If you or a loved one has been injured by the negligence of another, call our office today for a free, no-obligation consultation:  (314) 421-0763.

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