According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 153 people were killed in 122 crashes while racing between 2001 and 2010. The agency changed the way it tracks street racing cases in 2009 so that a crash is considered "racing involved" only if police charge at least one driver with racing. Previously, crashes were considered racing if at least one driver was charged or if investigators concluded that racing was involved. Under that broader definition, there were 1,047 racing deaths from 2001 to 2008. The Administration further reports:
- Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 16 and 20.
- Nationwide statistics show that 49 people are injured for every 1,000 who participate in illegal street racing.
Unfortunately, street racing accidents are not uncommon and can often turn fatal, especially because they are six times more likely than other fatal crashes to occur at speeds greater than 65 miles per hour. Additionally, many incidents involve drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Offenders also tend to be younger males with a history of risky driving behavior.
Michigan Law on Street Racing
Section 257.626(a) of the Michigan Vehicle Code provides:
“It shall be unlawful for any person to operate any vehicle upon any highway, or any other place open to the general public, including any area designated for the parking of motor vehicles, within this state, in a speed or acceleration contest or for the purpose of making a speed record, whether from a standing start or otherwise over a measured or unmeasured distance, or in a drag race as herein defined.
“Drag racing” means the operation of 2 or more vehicles from a point side by side at accelerating speeds in a competitive attempt to out-distance each other over a common selected course or where timing is involved or where timing devices are used in competitive accelerations of speeds by participating vehicles. Persons rendering assistance in any manner to such competitive use of vehicles shall be equally charged as participants. The operation of 2 or more vehicles either at speeds in excess of prima facie lawfully established speeds or rapidly accelerating from a common starting point to a speed in excess of such prima facie lawful speed is prima facie evidence of drag racing and is unlawful”.
Compensation for Michigan Accidents Caused by Street Racing
Street drag racing accidents often involve drivers who are reckless. The concept of drag racing involves an extreme level of disregard for the rules of the road and a serious disregard for others’ safety, a key indicator of reckless driving. Those motorists who involve themselves in these races are placing everyone in close proximity at risk, including their own vehicle and body. Unfortunately, however, the rate of street races continues to increase as more and more drivers are becoming enamored with the concept of illegally racing on Michigan’s roadways.
The following are some of the most common auto injuries linked to street drag racing injuries:
- Broken Bones
- Brain Injury
- Head and Neck Injury
- Burns and Lacerations
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Wrongful Death
When a motor vehicle collision occurs during a race, those involved must seek medical attention as soon as possible. Many of the above injuries are able to be treated if caught quickly. Sadly, many street racers are hesitant to seek a physician because of the illegal action taking place. However, anyone involved in a traffic crash must immediately visit a medical facility to prevent further damages.
Contact a Michigan Street Racing Accident Attorney
When you or someone you love is hurt in an auto accident caused by unlawful street racing, you might feel overwhelmed, traumatized, or helpless. You will need an experienced Michigan auto accident lawyer to help walk you through the next steps. Please do not hesitate to call Michigan Injury Lawyers at 313-GET-HELP for a free consultation today.