A single-vehicle rollover accident in Isle of Wight County, Virginia (VA), that sent a van driver and passenger to hospitals with serious injuries is being blamed by police on “driver inattention.” According to the Daily Press, the December 19, 2011, the wreck at the intersection of Route 258 and Foursquare Road just south of Smithfield occurred when the driver ran off the highway, overcorrected and flipped the van in an attempt to return to the pavement.
The newspaper also reported that the people in the van had to be cut free by firefighters. The driver sustained life-threatening injuries, but he, and the injured passenger are expected to survive. Long hospital stays can also to be expected.
Any time a car, truck or van rolls over, the people inside the vehicle are at significant risk for serious head, neck and brain injuries. Too often, rollover wrecks cause deaths.
Attorneys with our Virginia personal injury law firm have called on automobile and truck manufacturers to strengthen the roofs of their vehicles to provide better protection when vehicles flip. But even if steps are taken toward improving rollover safety, nothing will better protect drivers and passengers than having people behind the wheel ignore distractions and keep their eyes and minds on the road.
The driver inattention being cited as the cause of the Isle of Wight accident is just another way of saying “distracted driving.” The news report on the crash do not specify what distracted the driver, but whether the distraction came from a cellphone, GPS device, fatigue or something else matters little. The lesson to take from the crash is that drivers should make nothing more important than focusing on the task of driving.