A terrifying car accident in Fayetteville in March of this year left five people injured. However, the car crash didn’t happen on the highway or at a busy intersection—it happened inside a coffee shop.
On March 22nd patrons of Baba Boudan’s Espresso Café were in line waiting for their favorite coffee beverages when an SUV smashed through the wall, burying itself completely inside the building. In the chaos that ensued, rescuers pulled five injured victims from the rubble, all of whom are expected to survive.
Arkansas car accident investigators with the local police department pieced together details of the crash from physical evidence at the scene as well as eye witness testimony. It appears as if the driver of the SUV (an unlicensed teenager) lost control of the vehicle after swerving to avoid a minor car crash in the roadway ahead. It’s unclear why the young driver was traveling so fast through a busy commercial area but the vehicle “plowed” right through steel barriers designed to keep pedestrians on the sidewalks (and inside the retail storefronts) along this stretch of street safe.
Young Driver Responsible for Lion’s Share of Car Accidents in Arkansas
While the graphic details of this latest car accident in Arkansas make it exceptional, it’s not surprising that there was a young driver behind the wheel. That’s because young drivers (between the ages of 16 and 17) continue to have the highest rates of accident involvement of any age group (according to stats published by AAA).
Indeed, young drivers who are just learning the rules of the road and how to safely control their multi-ton vehicles are involved in roughly 1,500 accidents per 100 miles driven nationwide. For comparison, middle-aged individuals (between 30 and 40) are involved in (on average) around 300 accidents per 100 miles driven. That’s a 4-5 times decrease from teenage drivers.
Inexperience on Arkansas Roads Can Be Deadly
It’s not hard to guess why young drivers are at such high risk of being involved in car accidents in Arkansas. While many are quick to blame distractions and a young person’s inability to take the privilege of driving seriously, drivers at this age simply haven’t yet had the experience needed to operate a motor vehicle safely 100% of the time. In fact, studies show that distractions inside the car can be deadly regardless of age. In addition, many people who have been driving for years often have more cavalier attitudes toward their “duty of care” to pedestrians and other drivers they may come into close contact with.
Experience only comes with time. As drivers rack up “driving time” behind the wheel, they encounter more problems (like accidents in the roadway ahead) which require quick-thinking responses. They also are more able to safely control their vehicle because they’ve learned how much to correct without overcorrecting. There’s no other way to learn how to drive safely than simply doing it.
However, just because a driver is inexperienced, they are not off the hook.
Liability in Arkansas Car Accidents is Age Blind
While mitigating circumstances may come into play when a victim seeks compensation from an insurance settlement or from an at-fault driver in a car accident lawsuit in Arkansas, the age of the driver shouldn’t make a difference in the outcome. Indeed, the way the state Motor Vehicle Code is written specifically defines who is and isn’t at fault in certain types of car accidents. Proving that liability—regardless of the at-fault driver’s age—is the primary duty of the victim or their legal representative.
For example, this young driver could be held financially responsible for the injuries (and property damage) they caused because of their inability to control their SUV.
If you’ve been injured by an inexperienced driver, don’t let your settlement disappear. Speak with an experienced car accident attorney in Arkansas today.
Call the Pfeifer Law Firm at 501-374-4440 to schedule your free consultation today.