As Baltimore auto accident attorneys, my firm represents individuals injured as a result of a car, motorcycle or trucking-related highway collision. Naturally, being Maryland personal injury lawyers, we understand the factors that can contribute to a serious or fatal traffic wreck. As such, we know that vehicle speed and mechanical issues (defective equipement problems), weather conditions, traffic patterns and other factors can have a significant bearing on whether or not a motor vehicle accident will be minor or, at worst, fatal.
Of course, as many individuals who have survived horrendous car and commercial truck wrecks already know, luck is also a significant factor in these kinds of severe roadway crashes. Regardless, injuries do occur and fatalities are also quite common for high-speed accidents and those where vehicles of vastly different weights are concerned.
As mentioned previously, vehicle speed is a key factor in determining the severity of a traffic accident. With every doubling of vehicle speed, the crash energy is essentially quadrupled. This is why the old saying, “speed kills” is not just a popular phrase with police and other safety experts. That said, as drivers ourselves, we can understand that the practical considerations of modern life necessitate highway speeds despite the increased danger should a collision occur.
Nevertheless, driving faster than conditions will permit or attempting maneuvers that the vehicle was not designed to handle at high speeds can be disastrous for the car and its occupants. Whether one lives in Rockville, Annapolis or the District, it’s likely that as a motorist you have witnessed the aftermath of some kind of traffic accident. Multiple-vehicle crashes are some of the most common, but single-car and truck wrecks are also frequent occurrences on the state’s roadways.
Not long ago, the driver of a sport utility vehicle was killed when his SUV apparently went out of control at high speed and crashed into a tree. The accident, which resulted in a vehicle fire and the death of the driver, occurred early on a Saturday morning in Dunkirk, MD.
According to police reports, a Toyota FJ Cruiser was heading north along a stretch of MD Rte 4 a little before sometime after 7am. At a point just before the intersection of Rte 4 and Chaney Rd., police investigators believe the vehicle left the road and drove onto a grassy shoulder. As the truck crossed Chaney Rd., it traveled into a neighboring property where it struck a tree head-on. Reports indicate that the driver, who was the only person in the vehicle, sustained what authorities called a “mortal trauma”; he was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.
Based on it’s preliminary investigation, the Calvert County sheriff’s department believed that speed was one of the contributing factors in the fatal crash. Emergency responders from the Dunkirk Volunteer Fire Department, as well as the local rescue squad, worked to put out the fire, however they could not save the man.
The effects of the collision and fire were so severe that police could not identify the driver with certainty; therefore identification was left to the chief medical examiner’s office in Baltimore following an autopsy of the deceased driver. News articles at the time did not indicate whether police believed there was a mechanical problem that may have contributed to the driver’s loss of control prior to the crash.
Crash victim identified, SoMdNews.com, October 26, 2011