Tragedy can strike in an instant. The nation has had public debate on the dangers of distracted driving. Cellphone use in cars and other forms of distraction have garnered a great deal of public comment in the past few years. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has been outspoken on the subject of distracted driving. The issue is that use of cellphones and other entertainment issues can take a driver’s attention away from the road and decrease reaction time.
A tragic motorcycle accident shows just how fast things can change for a driver behind the wheel. Authorities say that after a fatal motorcycle accident on Highway 26, the driver of a Jeep Cherokee says she glanced down at her speedometer. That momentary glance may have been a factor in the fatal accident.
The woman’s Jeep reportedly crossed over the double yellow lines on Highway 26 Tuesday. The 47-year-old woman was traveling westbound around 2:15 p.m. She says she looked down at her speedometer when she lost control of the Jeep.
She says she looked up at the road and noticed she was drifting into oncoming traffic. She swerved to the right to correct, and then she swerved back to the left. After she swerved to the left, back into oncoming traffic, she slammed into a 2001 Harley Davidson motorcycle that was traveling eastbound.
Two people were riding the Harley at the time of the crash. The 57-year-old Valley Springs man driving the motorcycle suffered fatal injuries in the wreck. His passenger, an 83-year-old woman suffered severe injuries in the motorcycle accident. The woman was transported to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Sacramento for treatment.
Source: Calaveras Enterprise, “Man dies, woman seriously injured, in motorcycle accident,” Joel Metzger, Nov. 2, 2011