A chain-reaction crash initiated by a distracted driver sent one person to the hospital in Virginia Beach, VA, on the morning of May 19, 2016. The three-car wreck on Indian River Road began when the at-fault driver failed to notice that traffic had stopped near the interchange with I-64. A sudden lane change to avoid a rear-end collision caused him to hit a second car, and that vehicle pushed a third car into a tree in the median. The car that struck the tree caught fire, and its driver was the person who sustained serious injuries.
Police charged the at-fault driver with making an unsafe change. While news reports do not include details on why he failed to see the line of stopped vehicles in time to reduce his speed, the driver did tell investigators that he only noticed the change in traffic flow at the last moment.
Any time a driver takes his or her eyes and mind off the road, an accident can happen. A car traveling 35 mph covers more than 500 feet--one-third of a mile--in 10 seconds. Simply glancing down to change the radio station or check a GPS device can easily use up 10 seconds, which is enough time and distance to present a completely different road situation when a driver returns focus to traffic.
The person injured in the distracted driving crash on Indian River Road appears likely to recover. That is a bit of good news, but he likely would have escaped injury altogether if everyone sharing the road with him had concentrated on operating safely.