Fatal Birmingham Car Accident Caused by a Ladder in the Road

An 87-year-old man was killed in a Birmingham car accident on Interstate 65 and Finley Boulevard as the driver of the vehicle attempted to avoid road debris, according to Alabama Live.The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office reports that the elderly man and his wife were heading to Ohio from a vacation that had taken in Florida when they got into the four-vehicle accident. According to Deputy Coroner Bill Yates, a ladder fell off of a truck and ended up lying in the road. The man’s wife, who was driving their van, slowed down to avoid the ladder. As she slowed the vehicle, a truck slammed into the back of their vehicle and threw their van into the car in front of them. The man was sitting in the middle row of the vehicle. He was transported to the University of Alabama hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Our Alabama car accident lawyers understand that elderly drivers (those over the age of 65) make up only about 13 percent of the U.S. population. Still, there were nearly 185,000 elderly individuals injured in car accidents in 2008. Nearly 5,300 were killed. This age group accounted for nearly 10 percent of all of the people who were injured in traffic-related accidents throughout the year. What’s even worse is that they accounted for nearly 20 percent of all recorded traffic fatalities, nearly 15 percent of all vehicle occupant fatalities and nearly 20 percent of all pedestrian fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

What happened to this couple is heart breaking, as the wife was simply trying to avoid hitting the ladder on the road in an effort to keep them both safe. According to AAA, between 80 and 90 people are killed every year in car accidents that are caused by road debris. Debris causes nearly 30,000 car accidents every year. Luckily, there are tips that we all can use to help prevent accidents like these.

The most common types of road debris:

-Garbage from waste haulers.

-Tire treads.

-Construction supplies.

Tips to avoid a road debris-related traffic accident:

-Be sure to secure the cargo on your own vehicle before hitting the road. Check this cargo every time you stop.

-If you see an unsafe vehicle, road debris or unsecured loads, report it!

-Make sure your defensive driving habits are in top-notch shape.

-Always follow other vehicles at a safe following distance. The closer you follow another car, the less time you have to react to a potential hazard.

-Focus further down the road so you have more time to react.

-Sometimes it’s safer just to run over debris instead of swerving around it.

-Know exactly where the cars are that are traveling near you at all times.

If you or an elderly member of your family has been injured or killed in a car accident in Montgomery or elsewhere in the surrounding areas, contact the Alabama personal injury attorneys at Allred & Allred P.C. for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 334.396.9200 to speak with an experienced car accident attorney today.

Additional Resources:

Elderly Ohio man dies in Birmingham crash, by Carol Robinson, Alabama Live
More Blog Entries:

New Course Helps Elderly Drivers Reduce Risks of Alabama Car Accidents, Alabama Injury Lawyer Blog, February 15, 2012

Distracted Driving in Alabama Kills another Innocent Motorist, Alabama Injury Lawyer Blog, January 18, 2012

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