People make mistakes while they are behind the wheel on a regular basis. The slightest distraction or misjudging the speed of other vehicles can result in a serious crash. In other situations, drivers might deliberately choose to engage in behavior on the roads that is highly dangerous. Drinking and driving is a common example of this, though there are many other intentional acts that can result in devastating crashes. One act that has resulted in accidents in the North Carolina is street racing.
Also known as drag racing, street racing occurs when two or more drivers decide to race each other on regular roadways. This results in cars traveling at much higher speeds than are safe on a particular street, in excess of the speed limit, and traveling much faster than other vehicles. If a racing driver encounters another car or an obstacle, they might not be able to stop in time to prevent a crash. Speeding can also lead to a driver losing control and crashing.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg police recently arrested two 18-year-old drivers after a fatal accident that killed a 74-year-old woman. Police officers stated the teens were speeding and driving “recklessly and aggressively” when one of their vehicles crashed, causing fatal injuries. The teens were first issued citations for reckless driving, though prosecutors ended up issuing involuntary manslaughter charges after reviewing what happened. It is likely that the teens were street racing, as they were driving too fast in adjacent vehicles. One teen driver and a passenger also suffered injuries.
Police reported an increased number of street racing incidents in 2019. One officer pulled over two vehicles for racing, and the drivers tried to justify their dangerous conduct because they were making a video. The two vehicles were traveling about 80 miles per hour when officers saw them, and they were arrested for intentionally having a speed competition on the road.
State troopers also have received reports of street racers on Interstate 485 in recent months. In 2017, police officers arrested seven drivers and impounded five performance BMWs after they were caught racing at speeds of about 100 miles per hour on Highway 321. Some races are highly organized and planned in advance, while others are impromptu and happen when two drivers are at a stoplight next to one another, and one driver challenges the other. No matter how racing starts, it is a high-risk activity that often hurts others.
Speed limits exist for a reason, as different roads have different speed thresholds that are safe. Certain streets might have lower speed limits due to turns, blind intersections, and other potential hazards. Not only do street racers disregard speed limits, but they intentionally violate speed limits by a significant amount.
If an unsuspecting driver turns in front of a street racer, the racing driver might have to slam on their brakes to try to avoid a collision. Even if they are able to avoid hitting that car, the driver might spin out, depart their lane, or even roll their vehicle over. These events can all cause serious damage to other vehicles and severe injuries to other motorists.
Street racing is against the law in North Carolina for safety reasons, though many people choose to violate the law. Police might make an arrest, and the driver might face criminal charges, though this can do little to compensate injured accident victims. A conviction can result in jail time, seizure of the vehicle, fines, and more, though accident victims are left facing medical bills, lost wages from missed work, and even lasting impairments and disabilities. Some victims do not survive, and their families are left with tragic emotional and financial losses.
Anyone who is injured in a car accident due to street racing or other types of dangerous driving behaviors should speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can advise you of the best course of action for your financial recovery.
There is no excuse for drivers who engage in dangerous behaviors on the road. These drivers purposely put others in harm’s way, and innocent people can get injured or have their lives cut tragically short. The legal team at the office of Biazzo & Panchenko, PLLC, works to hold dangerous drivers fully accountable for any injuries they cause. Contact us online or call 704-810-1929 to learn about your legal options following a serious accident and injuries.