A head-on collision between an SUV and a pickup truck in Randolph County, North Carolina (NC), left the at-fault driver dead and the other person hospitalized with critical injuries. The February 22, 2017, fatal wreck happened south of Asheboro near the intersection of State Highway 42 and Miles Moffitt Road.
According to investigators, the 74-year-old driver of the SUV set the stage for the crash by crossing the center line of two-lane Highway 42. Both he and the sole occupant of the pickup were transported to Moses Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro, where the elderly driver succumbed to his injuries. It is unclear from news reports how fully the pickup truck driver will recover.
Common Causes of Head-On Collisions
Research by the Federal Highway Administration identified the three leading causes of head-on collisions as
- Driving inattentively (e.g., talking or texting on a phone, falling asleep at the wheel),
- Passing without allowing enough time and distance, and
- Driving left of center into opposing traffic for some distance.
The first two negligent or reckless actions often lead to the third, and elderly drivers may be at greater risk for each. The National Institute on Aging educates families on how declining health, medications, slowed reflexes, failing eyesight and stiff muscles and joints constitute separate and combined dangers for drifting out of one’s own lane and being unable to respond appropriately and quickly to avoid a collision.
What Happens When the At-Fault Driver Does Not Survive?
Law enforcement personnel will need to complete their investigation to answer the question of why the head-on happened on NC 42. The reason could be as simple as speeding around a curve, but multiple factors could also have come into play. If evidence shows that the elderly driver of the SUV committed an error or should not have been operating a motor vehicle at all, his automobile insurance policy would be responsible for covering the surviving pickup truck driver.
Victims of drivers who lose their lives in the wrecks they cause continue having the legal right to seek compensation and damages from the at-fault driver’s estate. That estate includes insurance policies, so a personal injury claim can be filed in much the same way it could have had the at-fault driver lived.
Some challenges can arise when taking legal action against an estate rather than a living person, so the pickup driver hurt in the head-on collision near Asheboro should strongly consider enlisting the help of an experienced North Carolina personal injury lawyer.