Driving while under the influence (DUI), speeding, recklessness and distracted
driving can all lead to car accidents that cause serious injuries or death.
Unfortunately, Hawaii's traffic fatalities increased by 26% from 2011
to 2012 and a recent multi-vehicle
car accident in Kilauea marked Kauai's first traffic fatality of 2014.
Head-on Collision Kills One; Injures Three Others
According to the
Star Advertiser, Kauai police arrested a 51-year-old Kilauea man who was driving a Ford
pickup truck that led to a fatal, head-on traffic collision in Kilauea.
The crash occurred on Kuhio Highway at about 7:25 p.m., just south of
Wailapa Road. Police say that the Ford pickup truck driver was heading
northbound when his truck apparently crossed the center line, sideswiping
a southbound Jeep sport utility vehicle and then striking a Dodge SUV.
The SUV overturned and killed the driver, 28-year-old Samuel Mitzel from
Kilauea. His passenger, a 55-year-old man also from Kilauea, was taken
to Wilcox Memorial Hospital, then flown to the Queen’s Medical Center
where he remains in critical condition. The Jeep’s driver, a 50-year-old
woman, was also treated at Wilcox and later released.
The pickup truck driver responsible for the accident was also treated at
Wilcox, arrested on suspicion of negligent injury and negligent homicide
and released pending an investigation.
While this accident marks the first traffic fatality on Kauai this year,
car accidents in many Hawaiian counties have significantly increased over the past few years.
Hawaii Car Accidents Jump 26% in One Year
According to the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 126 total crash fatalities in Hawaii in 2012, an increase of
26% over the previous year. The following counties saw the largest increases:
- Honolulu County - Up 10%
- Hawaii County - Up 70%
- Maui County - Up 15%
- Kauai County - Up 33%
The NHTSA broke down the types of vehicles, the driving behaviors and the
locations where the 126 crash fatalities occurred. It reported that:
- 69 involved single vehicles
- 6 involved a large truck
- 67 involved speeding
- 21 involved a rollover
- 61 involved a roadway departure
- 31 occurred at an intersection
Obviously, some accidents involved more than one of the above. Sadly, statistics for
non-fatal Hawaii car accidents aren't any more encouraging. The Injury Prevention
and Control Section of the Hawaii State Department of Health reports that
more than 4,600 car occupants are injured in Hawaii car crashes each year
- all of which can result in costly medical bills.
Average Hospital Stay Can Cost Nearly $50,000
Hawaii car crash victims are often hospitalized after an accident with
injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Injuries to the upper extremities, such as the arms and hands
- Injuries to the lower extremities, such as the hips, femur, feet and legs
The average car accident victim spends about one week in the hospital -
at a cost of nearly $50,000. One thing is for sure, insurance companies
will nearly always be involved and will do everything they can to pay
you as little as possible - if anything at all. However, you can even
the playing field. Insurance companies know which Hawaii car accident
law firms will take them to court - and that can make all the difference.