06 Apr Head-On Crash Claims Sacramento Mother, Two Children
A tragic two-vehicle crash on Jackson Highway last week killed a mother and both of her children, ages eleven and one. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is still investigating the crash, but reports suggest that the mother’s car crossed into the opposite lane and collided head-on with a small moving van travelling in the opposite direction. The mother and older son died at the scene, while the one-year-old boy died later in the hospital. The driver of the van, who tried but failed to avoid the car as it swerved toward him, was not seriously injured.
Restraints Not in Use
CHP has already noted that no one in the car was wearing a seat belt. The infant was also not properly secured in a car seat.
That’s a sad revelation. While there’s no guarantee that a seat belt will save your life in a crash, decades of data show that wearing one increases your chance of survival. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that in one recent year 12,000 injuries and as many as 450 deaths would have been prevented simply if all states had a primary enforcement law for seat belts: states with such laws have on average about 9 percent higher seat belt use than those without them.
In California, which already has a very high rate of seat-belt use, the state Office of Highway Safety estimates that about half of traffic fatalities could be prevented if all motor vehicle occupants wore seat belts.
A Different Potential Outcome
Under California law, the infant in the crash should have been in a rear-facing car seat and the older child should have been belted in. The CDC points out that both child car seat use and seat-belt use by older children reduces the risk of death in a crash by more than half.
No one can know for sure, but it is possible that the victims would have survived the crash if they’d been properly restrained.
Cause Still Under Investigation
The cause of this terrible crash is not yet known, and CHP will continue to investigate. Car crashes happen for many reasons. This one took place shortly after 3:00 a.m., so it’s possible that driver fatigue played a role. A report from AAA found a sharp increase in the risk of crashing for sleep-deprived drivers. Distracted driving, a growing risk factor, could potentially have been involved. And while most crashes are caused by human error, a small number of crashes are the result of mechanical failure, road conditions, or weather events.
Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer
We never like hearing about a crash like this, and our deepest sympathy goes out to the family. But the survivors will need more than kind wishes, and that’s why we’ve made it our business to help the victims of automobile accidents or their surviving family members get the compensation they need to keep their lives moving forward. Accidents like this often leave medical bills, lost wages and income, ongoing care expenses, and other costs in their wake.
The attorneys at Crowell Law Offices have experience with automobile accident law, and we offer a free consultation to all clients to review the details of each case. Give us a call today at 916-303-2800 or contact us online through the form below to schedule your appointment today.