On March 6, at around 7:30 in the morning, a horrific crash occurred in Boulder City on US-93 near Veteran’s Memorial Parkway. One person was killed and another hospitalized after a sedan traveling at high speed struck a truck. The driver of the truck, a 58-year-old man named Randy Reiner, was reportedly leaving a gas station and attempting to drive across several lanes of traffic to make a left turn. The other driver, a 27-year-old man named Joshua Buckingham, was driving a white sedan. Witnesses at the scene reported that the sedan appeared to be driving in excess of 100 MPH and was swerving frequently between lanes. Reiner, the driver of the truck, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, and Buckingham was transported to the hospital. He is expected to survive but faces possible charges of reckless driving resulting in death upon his release. 
According to reports, the speed limit in this area drops as low as 35 MPH, putting this driver’s speed well above the posted limit. Driving faster than the legal limit is not only illegal, it increases your risk of crashing and injuring yourself and others. The higher the speed of a vehicle, the longer it takes the driver to stop the vehicle if he or she notices someone or something in the roadway. In addition to increasing your stopping time, speeding increases the severity of crashes and the seriousness of injuries, increases fuel consumption, creates greater potential for loss of vehicle control, and reduces the effectiveness of occupant protection equipment such as seat belts and airbags. Speeding is estimated to be a factor in roughly one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities and impacts the safety both of the speeder and those around him or her. 
In the March 6 crash mentioned above, speeding did not turn out to be the only factor involved. Although initial reports stated that impairment did not appear to be a factor,  later reports made it clear that the driver was likely driving under the influence of prescription drugs. Joshua Buckingham, the driver of the truck in question, had taken a drug called Vuyvanse, also known as lisdexamfetamine. This is a controlled substance prescribed to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Buckingham said he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was given these pills to treat his symptoms. 
Most people understand that it is illegal to drive when you’ve had more than one or two alcoholic beverages, but it is also illegal to drive when you are impaired by any sort of drug. It doesn’t matter if the substance is illegal, available over the counter, or prescribed by a doctor. This includes substances such as marijuana, opioids, and methamphetamines. Drivers who are using drugs have a hard time judging the level of their own impairment. They may think that they are feeling and behaving normally, when in reality they are behaving with flawed judgment and impaired abilities. Depending on the drug in question, it could also have an adverse effect on the user’s reaction time, vision, balance, and hand-eye coordination. Any time a person abuses a chemical substance and attempts to operate a motor vehicle, that person is putting others on the roads at risk. 
The March 6 accident was further complicated by the actions of the victim. According to Nevada Highway Patrol spokesman Jason Buratczuk, Reiner was unrestrained at the time of the crash. This potentially increased the seriousness of his injuries and may have played a part in his death at the scene.  This is not to say that Reiner was in any way responsible for the accident that claimed his life, but driving a vehicle unrestrained may have significantly increased his risk of serious injury or death.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of those individuals killed in car accidents each year were not wearing seat belts. In 2009, an average of more than 90 people died in car crashes in the U.S. every day. Wearing your seat belt has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of death while traveling in a motor vehicle. Among drivers and front-seat passengers, seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45 percent, and they cut the risk of serious injury by 50 percent. Seat belts are so effective in preventing injury because they prevent the drivers and passengers from being thrown from the vehicle during a crash. Of those who are ejected from a vehicle during a fatal crash, roughly three-quarters die from their injuries.  All cars are equipped with seat belts, so the only barrier to wearing one is individual apathy or ignorance.
Several bystanders noticed Buckingham’s car moving irregularly and at high speed. Unfortunately, the highway patrol was not able to detain him before this tragic accident occurred. If you see a reckless driver on the road or one that you suspect may be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, there are certain steps you can take to keep yourself and others safe from harm. Keep as much distance between yourself or your vehicle and the impaired or reckless driver, and don’t try to get the driver’s attention. Try to read the license plate and gather any physical details you can about the car. Call 911 and give this information to dispatch so they can pass it on to law enforcement.  If, despite your best efforts, you or someone you know is injured by a reckless driver, seek medical attention immediately, and contact a personal injury attorney to make sure you understand your rights.