A Tallahassee, Florida man died on January 9, 2010, when he crashed into the rear of a semi-tractor-trailer rig on I-10. The 48-year-old man was traveling on I-10 just west of SR 77 near Chipley in Washington County.
The Florida Highway Patrol says he was heading east just before noon when he hit the rear of the tractor-trailer. The driver of the truck said he was on cruise control at 68 mph when he felt a large explosion. When he looked into his rear view mirrors all he saw was dust and debris. The 48-year-old man’s vehicle was actually stuck under the trailer rig. The man was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics from Washington County.
Our condolences go out to the family of this motorist.
When a fully loaded tractor-trailer weighing in at over 80,000 pounds collides with an automobile weighing about 3,000 pounds, even if it is a rear-ender, 98 percent of the fatalities occur to people in the passenger vehicles. It sounds as though there was nothing the driver of the big-rig could have done to be safer on the road.
Almost weekly we are reporting about people who collide into the back of the vehicles. Dialing a cell phone and texting can contribute to distracted driving. But also, reaching into the back seat, changing the radio, having an argument in the car, and being sleep deprived, may all contribute to a less than safe driver.
According to a study by Virginia Tech last year, dialing a cell phone made the risk of crash or near-crash event 2.8 times as high as non-distracted driving; while talking or listening to a cell phone made the risk of crash or a near-crash event 1.3 times as high as non-distracted driving; and reaching for an object such as an electronic device made the risk of crash or near-crash event 1.4 times as high as non-distracted driving.
In Florida, there were 243,342 traffic crashes in 2008, which averages 665 per day. The type of crash, rear-ending the vehicle in front, tops the list of types of crashes, according to the Florida Highway Patrol in its 2008 statistics. In that year, there were more than 29,000 car accidents in Florida of this nature that resulted in more than 74,000 injuries and 318 deaths.
Nationally, NHTSA finds that at least 25% of police-reported crashes involve some form of driver inattention. That means more than 4,300 crashes each day across the country. And many suspect that estimate is low.
Source article: http://www.wjhg.com/home/headlines/81075122.html