On March 28, 2013 at 10:30 in the morning, a seventy-four-year-old big rig driver lost consciousness after choking on the food he was eating while driving along highway 80 near Davis. His rig crossed the center dividing meridian, straight into the path of an oncoming traffic.
According to the police, the 74 year old driver of the big rig regained consciousness shortly before impact, but could not avoid crashing into a BMW in which two people were riding, resulting in the death of the two people in the BMW. You can read more details here:
Truck Accidents & Distracted Driving
Almost a decade before this accident the National Traffic Health and Safety Administration Counsel warned of the dangers of eating while driving. They advised it increased the risk of an accident by 80 percent. There is no criminal penalty for such conduct, just tragic consequences. Furthermore, national restaurant chains are encouraging this behavior by offering drive through windows.
Such a convenience might make sense for the passengers but it almost doubles the odds the driver will end up in an accident, according to the National Traffic Health and Safety Administration’s report. Yet many eat and drive simply because they believe they have no time.
Accident Reconstruction – Gathering Evidence of Fault
In any catastrophic car accident, engineers are retained by both sides to reconstruct the accident. They will examine the damage to both vehicles in order to calculate the precise speeds. They will examine the scene of the accident to look for evidence of skid marks to see if either vehicle had a chance to avoid the collision, or slow their speed prior to impact. The less time between the accident and their examination, the more precise will be their calculations.
The basics of this ‘accident reconstruction’ are familiar to experienced trial lawyers. The speed of both vehicles are added together to estimate the speed at impact. Most drivers along Highway 80 drive between seventy and eighty miles per hour, meaning the impact would be closer to 160 mph. At 160 mph, the gap between the vehicles closed at 234 feet per second. The brain needs time to process what it is seeing. It needs more time to give the command to take action. There was no time.
Big Rig companies have both the resources and time to dispatch their own investigators immediately after an accident, looking for ways to shift liability away from their driver, in order to minimize their loss. They know they will have to pay a claim, but if they can prove the BMW was exceeding the speed limit, they will argue they share some responsibility. The lawyers who represent accident victims cannot begin their work until the relatives of victims call and authorize them to begin work. This is especially hard when the accident has resulted in someone’s death. The survivors of those victims justifiably have no time for lawyers. They barely have had time to grieve.
Contact a Walnut Creek Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or your loved ones have been the victims of catastrophic car accident, please call and we will begin the process of preserving the evidence you will need to file a successful personal injury claim.