1 Apr 2010, 5:38pm
Safety
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Tragedy provides reminders

It’s been over two weeks now since the accident that killed Rosita Davila.  According to reports, off-duty SAPD officer Gabe Trevino was entering Loop 1604 westbound near Stone Oak after midnight that night and collided with a car being driven by Davila, causing her car to skid off the roadway and flip over the center barrier, killing her and injuring a passenger.

This tragedy serves as a tragic reminder of two important traffic laws, both of which have been a focus of the initial investigation.  Firstly, drivers entering a freeway must yield to traffic already on the freeway.  Inexplicably, I’ll get an e-mail from time-to-time from someone who firmly believes that traffic entering the freeway has the right-of-way unless there’s a yield sign (which is fairly rare.)  However, traffic entering a freeway is considered to be changing lanes, and you must always yield to traffic already in a lane into which you’re merging.

Secondly, all drivers have a fundamental duty to do everything they reasonably can to avoid an accident.  I can’t count how many times I’ve seen drivers forcibly assert their right-of-way and nearly cause an accident.  Please understand that I’m not saying that’s what happened in this case, but the initial accident report did proffer that as a possible cause, and even if it’s moot, it still offers a reminder that’s it’s entirely possible to be “dead right.”

It has recently been reported that Trevino was texting or otherwise using his cell phone at the time of the accident.  The dangers of this are obvious, and again, this case offers yet another reminder.  If not, take a look at the new AT&T ads about texting while driving:

http://fastlane.dot.gov/2010/03/new-antitexting-campaign-breaks-hearts-and-unsafe-habits.html

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