In recent years, distracted driving has emerged as a major car accident risk factor. While distracted drivers have caused car accidents since the invention of the automobile, in this day and age drivers are bombarded with more distractions than ever. Traditional distractions have long included children, conversations with passengers, scenery outside of the vehicle as well as the driver's own thoughts. Today, drivers must also avoid becoming distracted by stereo systems, GPS devices and cellphones.
A cellphone distraction may have led to the fatal wreck that took place last month on Nashville Highway.
A woman, 22, was northbound on the highway when she crossed over a median and struck and minivan. The 49-year-old driver of the minivan, a resident of Spring Hill, was killed.
The 22-year-old suggested to police that she became distracted when her cellphone vibrated. She said she looked down at the phone in her lap, and when she looked back up she noticed a car in front of her had come to a stop. This prompted her to swerve to avoid striking that vehicle, but she ended up overcorrecting, which sent her vehicle over the median.
She was not immediately charged in connection with the fatal accident, and it appears that an investigation is ongoing. The Columbia Police Chief told The Daily Herald that the case was not simple.
The newspaper points out that the area of this particular intersection, Imperial Drive and Nashville Highway, has been the scene of numerous collisions in recent years. This is the second fatality in the area. Whenever a location becomes a frequent host of car accidents, it is important to study whether the area is well-planned and maintained. In some cases, areas become car accident traps because municipalities are not properly planning and preparing for traffic.
The cause of this tragedy is not yet clear. It is important to find answers after fatal car accidents, so that families can have a sense of closure and hold the appropriate parties accountable. Regardless of whether a fatal car accident results in criminal charges, the loved ones of victims can pursue wrongful death actions against negligent drivers and other parties to obtain compensation for their losses.