Picture a game of dominos in which the first game piece is perfectly positioned to cause a chain reaction which will knock down all the others. On a busy highway, a mistake made by one driver can act like that first domino, creating a chain of accidents and injuries which affects many fellow motorists.
A recent accident in San Mateo, California, is one example of a domino effect accident, demonstrating how easily small mistakes on the road can build into a large tragedy. During this accident on Highway 101, the driver of a Toyota Corolla lost control of her vehicle and caused a crash which investigators believe later played a role in a fatal motorcycle accident.
The incident began when the Corolla driver swerved to avoid an obstruction in the road ahead of her. Her efforts to avoid the object quickly led to disaster, however, as her car moved across four traffic lanes and hit the highway’s center median. As emergency responders arrived at the scene, her incapacitated car caused traffic to slow down dramatically.
As traffic backed up across several lanes of Highway 101, a motorcyclist riding a 2006 Kawasaki was caught off guard by the slow moving vehicles. California Highway Patrol investigators believe that the motorcycle rider noticed the slow traffic too late and was forced to slam on his brakes. His attempt at a sudden stop caused the motorcycle to spin out, eventually crashing into the roadway.
Tragically, the rider died before emergency responders could transport him to the nearest hospital. Investigators believe that the victim probably died immediately after the crash.
While the California Highway Patrol is still in the process of reconstructing exactly how the fatal accident occurred, it appears as though this case is yet another example of how easily one driver’s mistake-even a seemingly small one-can lead to tragedy. Careful driving habits are so important because they protect not only the cautious driver themselves but everyone else on the road.
Source: Mercury News, “Danville man killed in motorcycle crash on San Mateo freeway.” Joshua Melvin, 10 March 2011.