Car Versus Truck Accident on Interstate 5
I’m Ed Smith, a North Highlands car accident lawyer. An early morning crash on March 6 along Interstate 5 resulted in the death of a Redding man in a collision with a big rig.
I want to extend my sympathy to the friends and family of the deceased man in this time of loss and sorrow.
According to a representative of the California Highway Patrol, the accident occurred along the highway between Corning and Red Bluff in the northbound lane at about 3:45 in the morning close to Elder Creek. The Redding man, driving a 2017 Jeep, went over to the edge of the road on the west side and struck a guardrail, causing his vehicle to bounce into the slow lane northbound. At this point, the vehicle stopped.
Vehicle Struck by Big Rig
A 2013 Freightliner, traveling north along the highway at around 65 mph by a 25-year-old North Highlands man, Roman Duscoy, could not stop his big rig in time to avoid striking the Jeep on its left side. The man from Redding was not utilizing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The CHP reported that his injuries were fatal. The speed the Redding man was traveling at the time of the accident was undetermined. The northbound side of the interstate close to Gyle Road was closed for a short time and traffic diverted to a county road until the northbound side of I-5 was reopened later.
Due to a truck’s weight, the stopping distance, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, differs from that of the average passenger vehicle. Consider that a truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, while a passenger vehicle generally weighs somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds. The momentum a truck has at 65 mph is much greater than that of a car since momentum is a product of speed and weight. Additionally, an empty big rig requires a longer stopping distance than one pulling a fully loaded trailer. This is because the traction is reduced when hauling a trailer that is empty.
Calculating the Stopping Distance
The stopping distance is calculated based on three factors:
- Perception: This is the amount of time it takes for a driver to recognize that he or she needs to stop the vehicle due to a roadway hazard or a slowdown in traffic flow ahead. The driver goes through three steps. The first is identifying a hazard or object ahead, thinking what needs to be done and making the decision to slow down. While this is done fairly quickly, the vehicle continues to move forward (perception distance). This is why tailgating is never a good idea.
- Reaction: The reaction is the time it it takes for a driver to implement the decision to stop. The vehicle continues to move during this step. This is referred to as the reaction distance.
- Braking: Once the driver applies the brakes, the vehicle will move forward until the brakes slow it down (braking distance).
From the beginning of the process to the point where the vehicle comes to rest, a heavier vehicle will travel further than a vehicle of lower weight. For a truck to stop when it is going 65 mph, the truck will travel 525 feet, which is roughly the length of two football fields. Alternately, a passenger vehicle that weighs 4,000 pounds traveling at 65 mph will go 316 feet before stopping, about the length of one football field. This difference in stopping distance is one of the reasons truck accidents are sometimes unavoidable.
North Highlands Car Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a North Highlands car accident lawyer. Collisions with big rigs often result in devastating injuries or the death of the occupants of the motor vehicle. If you or a member of your family was injured or lost a family member, call me at (916) 921-6400 for friendly advice, which is free of charge. I can also be reached through our online contact me form or at (800) 404-5400, our toll-free number.
I’ve assisted North Highlands and Redding residents as an injury lawyer since 1982, helping them obtain fair compensation for many types of personal injuries such as wrongful deaths and traumatic brain injuries.
I belong to milliondollaradvocates.com, a legal group comprised of trial attorneys with $1 million settlements or verdicts for their clients.
My website, AutoAccident.com, offers extensive information to Northern Californians about personal injury law in the state.
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