Road Departure Crashes Can Be Fatal

The stunning story last week of a man whose car plunged 200-feet in a Los Angeles forest ravine is truly remarkable. He beat the odds and survived for six days in the wilderness and with injuries.

In the case last week, the injured man is lucky to be alive. He is recovering from broken ribs and a broken arm, as well as a dislocated shoulder. His family would not give up in their search for him and went on a hunt that tracked cell phone usage and witness interviews to find him. The trauma surgeons are amazed by his fortitude and resourcefulness.

But his accident is actually the type of accident that is being studied. The renown researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) are studying the causes of what are known as single vehicle accidents. In this case, the man reported to authorities that he swerved to avoid oncoming lights and went up on the side of the road and then over the edge and down into the ravine.

The current studies underway at VTTI’s Center for Injury Biomechanics are researching the causation mechanisms of traumatic road departure motor vehicle accidents. The studies will take place over a period of two to four years and will involve the study of passenger vehicles and motorcycles crashes.

According to VTTI, there are about 10,000 people who are fatally injured in road departure crashes often due to “collisions with trees, poles, side slopes, and other hazards.” The studies will look at guide rails, signs and other devices that might play a part in these accidents. The hope is to reduce the severity of these crashes by studying
the conditions under which road departures occur, such as happened in the Los Angeles accident and to reduce both the severity and frequency of these crashes. In addition, the biomechanics of injuries resulting from these accidents will be studied.

Sadly, another vehicle went off the road in the same location. The man in that vehicle was deceased as the second driver clung to life and survived.

The California injury law firm of Hersh & Hersh has worked for the safety and well-being of consumers for four decades. If you have been injured in a bus, car, or other motor vehicle accident, contact our law firm for a free consultation with one of our lawyers.