As far as car crash videos go, this is a pretty terrifying one. How many times have you made quick lane changes because you almost missed your exit? Have you ever even done that once? You might think twice about doing that again after watching this…
Below is an image of the vehicle after the crash. As expected, there isn’t a whole lot left. This is the best image I have been able to find so far.
There’s actually a longer version of this video but I am not able to embed it. The original video I saw started about 2 minutes earlier. What amazed me is how well traffic was moving before the crash. Everyone seemed to be traveling at reasonable speeds, people were passing and using the correct lanes (slower traffic to the right, faster traffic to the left), and as a former truck driver, I would have just been cruising along without seeing too many hazards. But oh how quickly things can change.
At the 10 second mark, the blue car comes into view in the far left lane (lane 1). The driver of this vehicle is passing a tractor-trailer truck in the middle lane (lane 2) and that truck is passing another tractor-trailer that is in the right lane (lane 3). The blue vehicle in lane 1 has the right turn indicator illuminated as it enters the frame and begins moving towards lane 2.
Around the 11 second mark, a key error is made. As is seen in the newly opened exit lane (lane 4), a traffic backup is visible. Before moving towards that lane, the driver of the blue vehicle should have been looking far enough down the road to notice the backup. However, since so many lane changes were being made in such a short period of time, the driver was likely watching the side and rear-view mirrors instead of looking down the road. In addition, multiple tractor-trailers were obstructing the driver’s view of lane 4.
By the 14 second mark, the unfortunate fate of the driver was sealed. The view of lane 4 was completely blocked due to the close following distance behind the yellow tractor-trailer. As the driver continued into lane 4, the inevitable occurred.
Why Do Accidents Such as This Happen?
It’s alarming to know that anytime, this accident can happen to any of us. We don’t know when it is going to strike, that’s why it’s called an accident in the first place. But yes, we can definitely point out several reasons why accidents happen, and it can be environmental factors or human error.
Truth is, the majority of traffic accidents happen because a driver failed to follow the rules. Overconfidence that they know the road often leads to failure in acknowledging dangerous behaviors. These things are internal and can only be attributed to the driver’s fault.
Sometimes it’s caused by pure ignorance, with drivers unaware of the circumstances that lead to accidents. Their failure to recognize danger up ahead or their lack of knowledge to safely face the unexpected situation brings more trouble that could have been avoided had they been properly trained to face different road driving scenarios.
This is the reason why in some states, defensive driving courses are required for those who get involved in traffic accidents – check here if you’d like to enroll in one. Enrolling in these courses such as those offered by iDrivesafely and MyImprov Defensive Driving School will prepare drivers in recognizing these circumstances that may lead to accidents, and learn how to handle them. Basically, they’ll learn about safe driving.
Meanwhile, the other, more uncontrollable cause of accidents is unsafe road environments. This includes scenarios during bad weather conditions and visibility impairment when driving at night, as well as pedestrians, or other vehicles that get in your right of way unexpectedly.
Could the Truck Driver Have Done Anything Differently?
The truck which struck the blue car after the initial collision occurred was obviously not at fault, but there is always room for analysis. The driver of the tractor-trailer did not leave any “exit path” in case of an emergency situation. The traffic backup in lane 4 was visible in the frame as the blue vehicle was rapidly changing lanes. Even if the driver of the tractor-trailer had increased the following distance, it still probably would not have made much of a difference. Even a quick lane change, if available, would have been very risky due to the threat of rolling the truck over.
UPDATE: Condition Of The Driver
In short, she is alive. The driver of the blue vehicle was sent to the hospital in critical condition with 2 broken cervical vertebras, which basically means she broke her neck. After spending some time in a coma, she is now recovering. So far, I have not been able to determine the condition of the truck driver.
So, what do you think? Could this accident have been avoided? If so, how? Speak your mind in the comment section below
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