KSL.com Utah News reports that fatigue and distraction may have contributed to an Idaho woman’s death in a car accident that took place on November 4th. Brittney S. Zamora, a 24 year old woman from Pocatello, Idaho was driving westbound on I-84 when her Dodge Neon drifted into the median. The woman overcorrected and crossed two lanes of traffic. The car went over the right side of the road and rolled over. Zamora was ejected from the vehicle. As the car rolled, it crushed her beneath it, killing her.
Utah Highway Patrol, Lt. Lee Perry explained that distraction or fatigue likely contributed to the accident. However, Zamora’s failure to wear a seatbelt led to her getting ejected from the vehicle. Perry added that Zamora may have been using a cell phone while driving when the accident occurred.
The Centers for Disease Control recently issued a report for parents regarding how they can protect young drivers who get behind the wheel. The CDC explains that teens and young adults have higher car accident rates than any other group. Risk factors that lead to accidents among youth include: inexperience, fatigue, failure to use a seat belt, overestimating abilities, distracted driving, poor decision-making or judgment, and difficulty in responding to the hazards of the road.
Zamora’s death might have been prevented had she been using a seatbelt. The CDC encourages parents to require that their children wear seat belts regardless of where they are sitting in the vehicle. Getting into good seatbelt use habits at a young age, means that the habits will be internalized later when children become drivers and do not have someone supervising their seatbelt use.
Parents can also advise children on how to negotiate bad weather when they are driving. Braking gently and reducing speed in bad weather conditions can also prevent accidents. Parents can also stress the importance of refraining from using a cell phone while driving. Texting while driving is becoming an epidemic among young drivers with often tragic results. Research has found that texting and driving can be just as deadly as drinking and driving. Idaho law has regulations against texting and driving, but many people, particularly youth, engage in the practice.
Many accidents can be prevented with proper attention, care, and precautions. Unfortunately, every year, innocent drivers are killed or injured due to another driver’s negligence, failure to pay attention, or choice to use a cell phone while driving.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence, the law affords you protections and the right to seek reimbursement for your injuries or pain and suffering. Furthermore, if a family member has been killed in an accident due to another driver’s distraction or negligence, you may be entitled to reimbursement for funeral expenses, emergency medical treatment, and other incidental losses. A skilled personal injury lawyer can evaluate your claim and determine how much money you might be owed.