Truck Driver Fined $670 for Running Car off Bridge
Distracted driving represents a significant threat to safety on the roads in Georgia and throughout the U.S.. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as, “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” The NHTSA reports that over 3,331 people were killed and over 387,000 were injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers.
Motorist, Morgan Lake had slowed down to a crawl as she drove across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland, in typical evening traffic. Suddenly she noticed a truck barreling toward her car from behind. The truck hit, sending her car over the railing. Lake plummeted nearly 30 feet into the Bay. She managed to escape through a shattered window and swam to safety with minor injuries.
The driver of the 18-wheeler, who was employed by a Canadian trucking firm, was charged with several traffic misdemeanors, including:
- Negligent driving
- Speed greater than is reasonable and prudent
- Failure to reduce speed to avoid a collision
- Unsafe lane change
What was the grand total of his fine for the accident? He was issued a fine of $670. Ms. Lake has not yet filed an injury lawsuit, but this is certainly an option.
A reconstruction of the accident suggested that the truck was traveling at approximately 50 miles per hour. The driver reported that he had been distracted by flashing lights and was trying to locate them in his side view mirror. Distracted driving was also responsible for a car crash on the same bridge several months earlier.
This unfortunate accident should serve as a reminder to all drivers about the dangers of distracted driving on the roads and highways in Georgia and other places in the United States. Taking your eyes off the road for even half a minute can be too much, especially if you are exceeding the speed limit or tailgating the car in front of you. Many trucking accidents result from speeding, but drowsiness and being distracted are also problems in this industry.