Motorists on I-285 were stopped for several hours in the eastbound direction last week after a fatal crash. The crash involved multiple vehicles and because there are conflicting accounts as to how the accident occurred, Cobb County authorities returned Sunday to reconstruct the multiple vehicle crash.
Accident reconstruction is something with which I am quite familiar. Many cases involving serious or fatal injury require the work of experts that specialize in accident reconstruction. In my work as a Gwinnett County truck and motor vehicle accident lawyer, I have been closely involved with accident reconstruction. One of the most important things we do as lawyers is to discover the facts in any given accident or case, and there are procedures for that in our legal system. But often we also need to use the specialized knowledge of experts who can help us determine the facts based on scientific evidence or other specialized expertise.
In this situation, before reopening the highway after the initial accident, authorities marked the area carefully so that they would be able to document the impact and distances traveled in the collisions involved in this crash. Then, in order to reconstruct the accident, they closed the highway again and returned to the scene on Sunday with investigators and the Georgia Department of Transportation HERO units that are tasked with getting to accident scenes as quickly as possible.
The crash apparently involved three vehicles that, according to authorities, have been identified as a International semi tractor-trailer, a Lexus GS430 and a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. Tragically, a passenger in the pickup truck was killed as a result of crash. The pick up truck rolled over several times in the accident, but the event that caused this is not yet fully understood.
In some accounts it was said that one of the vehicles involved in this accident made an improper lane change which set off a series of events that resulted in the pick up truck rolling over. Some witnesses have apparently stated that the passenger car and the tractor-trailer collided, which then caused the car and the pickup truck to collide.
Although we aren’t yet certain which vehicle set off the series of events that resulted in this multiple vehicle crash, we do know that tractor-trailers and trucks are required to be particularly cautious in making lane changes. This is because their size and weight can quickly lead to a very dangerous situation.
For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that improper lane changing is another frequent violation of commercial drivers. Specifically, this is said to occur often in two circumstances. First, in heavy traffic where drivers attempt to “squeeze their vehicle between automobiles when overtaking slower traffic.” Or, second, “on the open highway and traveling at full speed, when [commercial motor vehicle] drivers fail to slow down for vehicles as they approach from the rear. This violation also occurs at high speed merge locations when the commercial vehicle driver fails to accurately gauge the vehicle’s position and speed during the merge maneuver. In addition, this violation also occurs when other vehicles are traveling in the commercial vehicle’s blind spot. This demonstrates the importance of signaling before attempting to change lanes.”
When sharing the road with larger vehicles, use extreme caution. When traveling near large trucks and tractor-trailers, drive as defensively as possible. Assume that the larger vehicle cannot see you — and avoid traveling in a truck’s blind spot.
As a Atlanta, Georgia truck crash lawyer with offices throughout the area, I represent victims involved in truck accidents that have sustained injuries in all surrounding cities and counties, such as Cobb, Duluth, Fulton County, Grayson, Gwinnett County and more. Please contact our law firm for a free confidential consultation at our main Gwinnett County law office, or at our offices in Decatur, the Perimeter and Buckhead.