In a tragic accident near Jacksonville last week, one man lost his life when he was rear-ended and pushed off of the Buckman Bridge. According to a report by the Florida Times-Union, a tractor-trailer jack-knifed on the southbound lanes of the bridge, causing traffic to back up quickly. In addition, the accident caused rubbernecking in the northbound lanes, as drivers slowed down to see what was going on. One northbound driver, perhaps not seeing the slowing traffic ahead of him, slammed into the back of a pick-up truck, pushing the truck over the edge of the bridge.
Witnesses say they saw a man in the water moments after the accident, but that he quickly submerged and was not seen again. A few hours later, emergency crews extricated the deceased driver from the waters of St. John’s River.
The driver of the car that rear-ended the truck, the article points out, had been cited for various violations six times in the past. He had taken a traffic safety course and paid several fines related to the citations. As of the time of publication, there have been no charges filed against the driver of the car, but an investigation is underway.
Rubbernecking Is Distracted Driving
This is truly a tragic accident in that it could have been so easily avoided. Rubbernecking, although a somewhat common traffic phenomenon, does in fact constitute distracted driving. Rubbernecking is when motorists not involved in an accident slow down, not to ensure the safety of emergency crews but to see what is going on on the side of the road.
It is common sense that this type of sudden slowing down can be extremely dangerous. Indeed, such behavior may have led to the accident discussed above.
However, the accident above was not just the fault of rubbernecking motorists. The driver of the car failed to see that traffic was slowing down in front of him and rammed into the rear end of the pick-up truck, sending it off the edge. The fact that the car hit the pick-up truck with enough force to push it over the barrier and into the water suggests that the car was traveling at a fast pace at the time of the accident. While this is just speculation at this point, it’s fair to say that if the driver was following traffic laws and was paying attention the accident might have been avoided.
Have You Been Involved in an Avoidable Accident?
If you or a loved one has been the victim of an avoidable accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation based on the other driver’s negligence. Each day there are thousands of traffic accidents across the country that could have been avoided if motorists took the proper precautions. However, whether because they are in a rush or are distracted, motorists sometimes take shortcuts around the traffic rules, putting everyone in danger. To speak to a dedicated Florida personal injury attorney about your case, click here, or call 352-387-8700 to schedule a free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Two Dead in Fatal Flagler County Accident, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published July 18, 2014.
Ocala Woman Gets into DUI Accident with Her Autistic Child on Her Lap, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published July 17, 2014.