I’m Ed Smith, a Stockton truck accident attorney. An accident on Interstate 5 in Stockton left one person dead after a big rig rear-ended a passenger vehicle stopped on the highway.
I would like to take this opportunity to offer my condolences to the family in this time of sorrow.
The accident happened in the early afternoon hours when a Toyota, heading north past the Benjamin Holt Drive exit, in the left-hand lane at 65 mph, experienced a failed rear tire, causing the vehicle to hit the cement median. The impact threw the 1987 Toyota back onto northbound I-80. The driver, 19, maneuvered the Toyota toward the right, non-passing lane where it came to a halt. An Atwater man, 59, approached the area shortly afterward driving a Freightliner at about 55 mph, according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The trucker said he was aware of the Toyota in the lane ahead but could not stop in time. The Freightliner hit the Toyota’s rear end, pushing the vehicle into the concrete median. The Freightliner traveled for a short distance before stopping.
Injuries in the Accident
An occupant of the Toyota, sitting in the rear of the vehicle, died in the crash. There is no word at the time of this reporting whether the Toyota driver or the driver of the Freightliner were injured in the crash. The use of drugs or alcohol was not raised. The coroner’s office in San Joaquin County has yet to publicly name the decedent until the family has been notified.
Nationwide, distracted driving caused 391,000 injuries and killed 3,477 individuals in 2015 alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This reckless behavior involves any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the road. Although sending electronic messages and talking on a cell phone are two of the most common activities, driving while eating, looking at GPS units, changing radio stations or even talking to a passenger are all things that capture a driver’s attention.
Time It Takes to Text
For the average driver, reading or sending text messages takes approximately five seconds. Taking your attention from the road for this amount of time means that you are not looking at the road for the time it would take to travel down a football field.
Reaction Time and Braking Distance for a Commercial Truck to Stop
The average driver takes ¾ of one second for their brain to register that there is an obstacle in the road. For a loaded truck, the truck will travel 60 feet at 55 mph in this time. Add in another 60 feet for the driver to apply the brakes. The truck has now traveled 120 feet. To come to a stop it will take another 290 feet. If a trucker was texting prior to becoming aware of a stopped vehicle in the road, it would take the truck the length of two football fields to come to a complete stop.
Proof of Liability in Truck Accidents
A trucker who implies that although he or she was cognizant of an obstacle in the road, such as a disabled car, but was unable to stop in time may have been distracted prior to the incident. As an experienced truck accident attorney, it is possible to analyze the crash to determine how long it took the driver to brake. This can be supplied by using data from the event data recorder system, known as a black box, present in many current models and a crash data retrieval tool. If this is not available, information can be gleaned from roadway marks such as skid marks. Either way, knowing the complexities of truck accident determinations is essential.
Injuries in Collisions With a Big Rig
When a heavy truck hits a passenger vehicle, the sheer weight of the truck makes it more likely that passenger vehicle occupants will be injured or killed. Some common injuries are:
- Spinal cord injury
- Injuries to the extremities requiring amputation
- Traumatic brain injury
- Burn injuries
- Wrongful death
Stockton Truck Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Stockton truck accident attorney. If you have been injured or if a loved one has died due to the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company, call me at (209) 227-1931 locally or (800) 404-5400 outside of the area for friendly, free legal advice.
I am a proud member of a nationwide group of trial attorneys who have all won $1 million or more for clients. You can read more about the forum at milliondollaradvocates.com.
I have been a personal injury lawyer since 1982, and together, my staff and I have worked hard to obtain just compensation for clients in Stockton and Northern California. You can see how I resolved claims on my verdicts and settlements page.
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/highway-feierabend-traffic-2104379/
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