Stalled Pickup Causes Multiple-Vehicle Collision on Golden State Highway
A multiple-vehicle accident involving six to seven vehicles occurred along the Golden State Highway in Sacramento on October 18. The report filed by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) said the accident happened around 2:17 p.m. along southbound I-5 just south of the Arena Boulevard off-ramp and blocked most of the lanes. It was caused, according to the CHP, by a pickup truck that was carrying water and stalled in the lanes. Several of the vehicles had to be removed from the scene using flatbed trailers. Fortunately, no injuries were reported in the collision.
Dangerous Situations on a Highway Leading to a Multiple-Vehicle Accident
On busy highways with speeds of 55 mph or more, a slowed or stopped vehicle can present problems not only for traffic flow but also for safe travel. For example, a truck or car traveling at 55 mph would have difficulty avoiding an accident if they saw a stopped or slow-moving vehicle 400 feet ahead. Conversely, a driver needs to be aware of what is going on around them, so they can take corrective measures such as applying the brakes. Since California has a system of dividing negligence between parties in an accident, it is a matter of who took the least caution when determining liability, especially in a multiple-vehicle collision.
Drivers Need to Be Alert for Changes in Traffic Flow
Using best driving practices, a driver needs to totally focus on the road. In today’s multitasking world, that is often not the case. Instead, drivers are dividing their attention between the road and other elements such as adjusting the radio, looking at the GPS, or texting on a cellphone. This behavior is referred to as distraction and is rapidly becoming the leading cause of multiple-vehicle accidents.
Determining liability in a distracted driving accident is challenging, however, it is doable. Your injury attorney and their investigators will examine what happened in the moments before the crash. For instance, if the at-fault driver was using their cell phone prior to the incident, the investigators will check their text history and phone records to see if they were on a call or texting prior to the incident. If so, a case can be made for distracted driving.
A stopped or slow-moving vehicle can modify the liability in a multiple-vehicle accident. The National Safety Council reports that 15,000 crashes occur annually due to a slow-moving vehicle. About 90 percent of the accidents, according to their report, occurred during the daylight hours and 66 percent involved a rear-end collision. There are things that can be done to make the slow-moving or stopped vehicle more visible. For example, a white or red rag can be hung on the windshield or attached to the trunk. Likewise, flares can be placed about the vehicle or flashers can be turned on.
Culpability in this situation can be judged according to the slow-moving vehicle’s ability to alert vehicles around them. For instance, a vehicle that breaks down may not be prepared to take all measures to alert other drivers. However, a vehicle such as a loaded truck would have advance notice to take precautions. Your injury lawyer will take this into consideration when approaching your case.
How a Multiple-Vehicle Accident Is Investigated
At our firm, we dispatch investigators to the accident scene as soon as possible. They survey the scene noting the placement of the vehicles before, during, and after the multiple-vehicle accident. They obtain any available surveillance videos and interview witnesses. The investigators also review police reports for mistakes. Once all evidence is gathered, the data is turned over to our legal team as they build a robust case for our clients.
Car Accident Attorney in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a car accident attorney in Sacramento. When a multiple-vehicle traffic collision results in your injuries, obtaining the advice of an injury lawyer about filing for compensation may be a good idea. Call us at (916) 921-6400 for our free and friendly advice. You can also reach us at (800) 404-5400 or online.
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