A pickup truck driver died on NC 42 in Johnson County, North Carolina (NC), when an out-of-control car struck his vehicle head-on. The fatal January 12, 2016, collision occurred outside of the town of Kenley and near the interchange with NC 222.
Investigators told reporters that the wreck began when the woman in the car ran off the right shoulder and overcorrected her steering while attempting to return all her wheels to the pavement. Her vehicle then crossed into oncoming traffic. In addition to the man in the pickup who lost his life, an unspecified number of people suffered injuries that required medical treatment. It is unclear if the at-fault driver will be charged in connection with the accident.
Drivers can veer off the road for many reasons, including becoming distracted, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, falling asleep behind the wheel and experiencing a medical emergency. Each circumstance would constitute an explanation rather than an excuse, however. Any driver who fails to maintain adequate control of his or her car and stay in their own lane can potentially be held liable for inflicting injuries on or killing others due to negligence or recklessness.
When a driver does find him or herself on the shoulder, he or she must respond calmly and carefully. Slowly reducing speed while gradually exiting the roadway altogether is the most appropriate, and safest, action. Jerking the steering wheel back towards traffic too often ends in tragedy.