Columbia car accident lawyers are seeing more and more reports of fatal
accidents happening not because of drunk driving or aggressive driving,
but simply because a driver loses control of their vehicle. Many times
the vehicle travels off one of Columbia's roads into a ditch, strikes
a tree, or overturns. In other more dangerous instances of losing control,
the vehicle travels across the center line into oncoming traffic, causing
a head-on collision.
What exactly is going on here? It's hard to imagine that there are
so many Missouri drivers who cannot control their vehicles. We have to
wonder if a large proportion of these accidents can be attributed to distracted
driving, but the distraction is never admitted to or determined in the
Missouri Highway Patrol's crash report.
On Sept. 25, a driver from Lake St. Louis lost control of her 2000 Lexus
on I 70, just east of Route Z at the 134.6 mile marker. Nicole D. Buffa,
19, crashed right through the median cables separating the east and westbound
lanes, flipped over, and hit another car head-on. Sadly, the driver of
the car she hit, Audra B. Snyder, 43, of Topeka, Kan., was killed.
Snyder was pronounced dead around 2 p.m. at Columbia's University Hospital.
Buffa was also taken to University Hospital and reported in serious condition.
A third vehicle was damaged by flying debris from the accident, but the
damage was minor, and that driver fortunately was uninjured. MSHP's
Troop F reported this as the forty-fifth traffic fatality of 2011 in their
There are many reasons someone might lose control of their vehicle, including
bald tires, tire blowouts, slick road surfaces, going too fast through
a curve, but the main cause in this day and age seems to be distracted driving.
According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study
with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), 80 percent of
car accidents and 65 percent of near-accidents were shown to have some
kind of driver distraction as a factor.
Key results of the study include:
• Drowsiness: increases a driver's risk of a crash or near-crash
by 4X. Probably significantly under-reported in police reports.
• Cell phone use: by far the most common driver distraction. Dialing,
talking and even listening all contribute substantially to car crashes.
• Reaching for a moving object ups the risk of an accident 9X, applying
makeup by 3X; dialing a a cell phone by almost 3X; and talking or listening
to a cell phone by 1.3X.
Obviously, drivers who attempt to multi-task have a higher incidence of
car accidents and near misses. If it is someone's habit to multi-task
while driving, they might wait for a moment that is safe to change the
CD or check their lipstick in the rear view mirror. However, there really
is no safe moment because driving situations change in an instant, leaving
the distracted driver no time to react. Taking one's eyes off the
road even for a few seconds can have disastrous results--not just for
that driver, but for other motorists and pedestrians.
Click here to read more from the NHTSA study.
If you have been in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver,
you might require legal assistance. The Columbia law firm of Aaron Sachs
offers a free initial consultation to discuss your claim at 1-888-777-Auto
(2886). Call us today to see if we can help you.
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