Most people want to be good drivers. They understand that driving a motor vehicle can be dangerous and that they should stay alert and focused driving when they are behind the wheel. However, driving long stretches of highway in California can be dull. It may be so boring that it lulls the mind into something of a trance, sometimes called ‘highway hypnosis.’ For instance, if you crossed into California from Oregon, heading down Interstate 5, you could remain on the highway for 796 miles before you would arrive at the Mexican border.
Combine the long stretches of featureless real estate with any other type of distraction, such as checking your phone, eating, being fatigued or drunk, and it can lead to drivers suffering from inattention and causing terrible crashes. When vehicles are rear-ended, it is almost always the case that the driver was not paying attention. It is unclear why a truck driver crashed into a vehicle sitting on the side of the I-5 north of Los Angles at the beginning of the month, but two occupants were killed in the crash.
The California Highway Patrol was investigating the crash but had yet to release any results of that investigation. It appears that a jeep was parked on the shoulder of I-5 when a large truck changed lanes onto the shoulder, but continued traveling at highway speeds. When the truck driver finally noticed the parked jeep, he attempted to swerve off the shoulder and back into the traffic lane, but his truck caught the back end of the jeep.
The jeep was knocked off the road, overturning and catching on fire. Of the five passengers in the jeep, two were killed and three suffered varying moderate to major injuries. The truck driver was uninjured, as is often the case in these types of crashes.
While the survivors are lucky, they are likely to face many challenges after such a catastrophic crash, from the emotional struggle of dealing with the deaths, including that of a young child to the potentially lifelong after-effects from the physical injuries suffered in the truck crash.