Teen hits cruiser in Braintree, pot, distractions suspected

Stories about accidents involving drunk drivers are not particularly a new phenomenon. For many years, lawmakers, commentators and drivers have known that a drunk driver can pose risks to many people, including other motorists, pedestrians and passengers in the same vehicle. In recent years, the idea of the dangers of distracted driving has made its way into the public consciousness. Similarly, driving under the influence of drugs is a growing concern in many areas of the country.

These issues are a problem on Massachusetts roadways. But, it is also important to note that the issues are not always mutually exclusive. People who may be under the influence may also pull out an electronic device while behind the wheel.

An 18-year-old man from Braintree, Massachusetts, was arrested Sunday night after slamming his car into a police cruiser. The squad car was stopped at the scene of an earlier accident. A woman had crashed through the front of a convenience store. Authorities say that the teen was trying to take a video of the accident scene while driving when he hit the rear of the cruiser.

The teen and the officer each suffered undisclosed, but minor injuries in the rear-end crash.

In looking into the accident, law enforcement says that an officer smelled marijuana in the car. The teen was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of pot.

Distractions from electronic equipment and the use of substances are dangerous activities. Accident victims who suffer injury may be able to hold a negligent driver liable for causing an injury.

Source: Boston Globe, "Teen allegedly rear-ends cruiser while recording scene," Jacqueline Tempera, Feb. 25, 2014