We all know that driving while intoxicated, texting or talking on a cellphone, and screaming kids in the back seat — even tuning the radio in a car or truck — can all be potential causes of traffic accidents. Certainly these scenarios can contribute significantly to injuries and deaths in car and trucking-related wrecks. Whether leading to a single- or multiple vehicle collision, each and every cause of serious accidents is a concern to police and traffic safety experts.
As Baltimore personal injury lawyers, my firm is interested in the effects of car, truck and motorcycle accidents, not only because we want to help the victims, but because understanding the causes might help others to avoid tragic incidents in the future. Sadly, even with public awareness, car and commercial truck crashes occur with alarming frequency. Preventing the random and unexpected can prove difficult, yet cutting the number of preventable motor vehicle accidents is theoretically within our power.
As mentioned above, drinking and driving and texting, as well as other potentially distracting activities, are things which motorists have an active part in preventing. Getting a sober ride or designated driver can help to prevent DWI- and DUI-related traffic injuries and senseless automotive-related deaths; not taking a cellphone call, putting off texting on a smartphone until one’s car is safely parked; and even using presets on the car radio are all ways to protect oneself, one’s passengers and other innocent people on the roadway.
Avoiding those precursors to serious accidents allows people to more or less control their immediate destiny. What is more difficult, or impossible, to control are the actions of others. Whether something directly contributes to a car, truck or motorcycle crash, such as bad weather or a blown-out tire; or a more direct cause, like another vehicle changing lanes at the wrong time or running a red light, these kinds of events may be more difficult to control or avoid.
One random, yet avoidable cause of traffic accidents is the situation arising from aggressive or simply dangerous driving. Every year, hundreds of people are killed or injured as a result of another drive acting out behind the wheel. Whether it is a case of road rage or simply aggressive and thoughtless driving, being hurt by another individual as a result of a negligent act is hard to categorize as a pure “accident.” Take for instance a news article we recently ran across, which described an innocent family whose lives were destroyed by a senseless street racing incident.
According to reports, the crash occurred down south when a driver, who police believe was drag racing on public roads, slammed head-on into an SUV carrying four members of a family. The accident happened in the early morning hours on a Saturday when two young men in a Toyota Scion were apparently racing with two other vehicles, one of them possibly a Chevy Impala. The driver of the Toyota reportedly lost control of his vehicle, crossed the centerline and crashed head-on into a Ford Expedition driven by a 43-year-old husband and father of two.
Based on police reports, the Scion may have been going 100mph at the time of the collision. The force of the impact, according to witnesses, caused the Ford to be literally tossed across the roadway. News reports indicated that the sport utility vehicle spun three times before coming to rest.
As a result of the crash, the Ford’s driver and his 15-year-old son were killed. The mother, 42, and the couple’s 12-year-old son were seriously injured and were listed in extremely critical condition at a local hospital at the time of the news report. Also killed as a result of this terrible crash was the 20-year-old passenger in the Scion, who was thrown out of the car on impact and pronounced dead at the crash site. The driver of the Toyota, a 19-year-old male, was also thrown from the vehicle, but apparently survived, at least to the point that he, too, was listed in critical condition in the hospital.
Drag racer hits family’s car head on, killing father and son, injuring mom, child; NBCNews.com, October 20, 2012