In the last month, a Lancaster County, Pennsylvania car dealer took a potential customer for a test drive and his alleged reckless driving is being blamed for the death of that potential customer. The Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office charged the salesman with homicide by vehicle, driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance, and two counts of recklessly endangering another person and other crimes. Shortly after the accident, the salesman admitted to police that he consumed alcohol, more specifically, Bacardi Rum, prior to driving. In addition, news sources report that he had tested positive for marijuana as well. As an ex-prosecutor and experienced Philadelphia car accident attorney, I am well aware that the level of alcohol in his blood stream would have caused diminished faculties associated with the safe operation of a motor vehicle, including alertness, judgment, perception, coordination, response time and a sense of care and caution.
In a separate test drive accident which took the life of an individual, a teenager went to test drive a motorcycle when he lost control and hit a tree. In that particular case, law authorities stated that the test rider was likely speeding when he lost control of the motorcycle on a tree lined road. Independent witnesses informed investigators that they heard the operator revving the motorcycle engine just before the crash.
In another case, a 27-year old saleswoman took a Corvette out for a test drive and wrapped the car around a tree killing her. Although that case did not involve alcohol, it did involve speed and recklessness.
As a car buff, I have been amazed by just how many times I have gone to car dealers to test drive the latest exotic car only to be given a pair of keys and be seated next to a salesman telling me to let the car fly and to take a turn at a high rate of speed. Obviously for one not familiar with the vehicle, this can sometimes lead to catastrophic consequences.