Nov 30, 2020
Thanksgiving typically involves an increase in travelers on the road and, sadly, an increase in car accidents. Last year, the American Automobile Association (AAA) estimated that 49.3 million travelers would hit the nation’s roads and highways for the Thanksgiving holiday, the most since 2005. This year, due primarily to the coronavirus pandemic, AAA projected a reduction of at least 10% in overall travel, the largest one-year decrease since the Great Recession of 2008.
For 2020, AAA estimated that travel by automobile would fall 4.3% to 47.8 million travelers (accounting for approximately 95% of all holiday travel). Despite the reduction in travelers on the road, this year’s Thanksgiving week saw a number of high-profile car accidents. One, occurring locally in Los Angeles on Thanksgiving morning, involved a fatal crash at the 3600 block of Eagle Rock Boulevard. Another, occurring in Florida a few days earlier, involved a fatal crash on U.S. Highway 1 on Lower Matecumbe Key.
The two accidents involved high-profile figures and have received significant media attention. Below we will take a look at the details of the accidents, discuss driver safety tips, and examine what to do after a car crash resulting in an injury or fatality.
On November 24, NASCAR pit crew member, William “Rowdy” Howell, and his wife, Blakley, were tragically killed in a Florida automobile accident while celebrating their honeymoon. The Florida Highway Patrol reported that Harrell was driving a 2020 Toyota Corolla, and collided with a Ford pick-up truck. It was a head-on collision, occurring at approximately 9:40 p.m., and resulted from Harrell passing over the center line on U.S. 1. The truck’s driver was treated for minor injuries, while two other passengers were reported to be “seriously hurt.”
The couple was married just days earlier on November 21 in Harrell’s home state of Alabama.
Harrell worked for eight seasons with Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 88 team, most recently for NASCAR driver Alex Bowman. Harrell was a two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion pit crew member with JR Motorsports. Hendrick Motorsports issued a statement confirming that, prior to joining NASCAR, Harrell was a middle linebacker for the University of Alabama’s football team, where he won three national championships.
On Thursday morning in Glassell Park, Los Angeles, Ryan Brady was one of two men involved in a fatal single-vehicle crash. Police identified the second fatality as Max Perenchio. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene.
The car was traveling northbound on Eagle Rock Boulevard close to Avenue 36 when it reportedly hit a traffic median at a high rate of speed. Subsequently, the car rolled over multiple times, eventually hitting a tree. Sergeant Jeanna Quinones of the LAPD’s Central Traffic Division confirmed to a local news outlet that both men had died in the rollover accident, but did not elaborate as to the cause.
The LAPD is reportedly conducting an ongoing investigation into the accident.
Brady co-hosted a popular music podcast, Take It Away, which examined Paul McCartney’s solo releases through the decades in great detail. He was also the vice president of marketing at Atlantic Records, a position he held since April 2019. Brady reportedly began his tenure with the record company over 10 years ago.
Rollover crashes and head-on collisions like those detailed above are unfortunately all-too-common on our nation’s roads and highways. What are some steps that drivers can take to increase traffic safety and
perhaps prevent future car accidents? Let’s take a look at a few tips provided by some of the nation’s top car insurance carriers.
Travelers Insurance has established 7 Common Types of Car Accidents, and outlined some recommendations to help drivers avoid them.
The company cites the following seven types of common car accidents:
To avoid rear-end collisions, Travelers advises drivers to keep their distance, drive strategically (i.e. avoid situations that could force you to suddenly use your brakes), don’t get distracted or take your eyes off the road, and don’t drive when tired or drowsy.
For avoiding parked car damage, the company advises drivers to select a parking space away from heavy traffic, maximize your space (i.e. park in the center of the spot), park in a garage whenever possible, and park “street smart” (i.e. away from busy intersections, tight turns, and driveways).
To avoid single-vehicle car accidents (including collisions with road barriers, debris, or animals, as well as rollovers and accidents resulting in driving off-road) the company advises drivers always travel at safe speeds that take into consideration the weather, maintain attention at all times, and never travel at excessive speeds (even if you’re the only one on the road – a common occurrence in the age of COVID-19).
To avoid chips and cracks to vehicle windshields, drivers are advised to travel at safe distances from other cars and trucks. Most windshield damage occurs when stones or rocks are suddenly thrown into the air by passing vehicles. Maintaining a safe distance at all times helps reduce the likelihood of experiencing this type of accident.
For avoiding crashes at intersections, a frequent occurrence with distracted drivers who miss traffic signals changing from green to yellow to red, drivers are advised to practice defensive driving. After a light turns green, take a moment to ensure no one is passing through the intersection, keep an eye out for drivers speeding to make it through a yellow light on a cross street, and, when approaching a yellow light, always err on the side of caution.
Although there is always a possibility of a break-in occurring no matter where you park, drivers can take steps to help reduce risk. Some standard tips include never leaving valuables in a parked car and never parking in dark areas of a lot or garage.
Finally, when it comes to backing collisions and car accidents, drivers are recommended to always assess their surroundings before getting into a vehicle. Look around to get a sense of traffic patterns, and always back out in the shortest, most direct route possible. Additionally, back out slowly while continuing to monitor the traffic around you, and always reverse in a straight line, turning only when clear of parked vehicles or any other obstructions.
GEICO has also established some driver safety tips specifically directed at teens. According to the company, the Top 10 Tips to Help Teens Avoid Car Accidents Include:
If you’re injured in a car accident, you may be eligible to collect significant financial compensation for damages, such as medical bills, lost wages or earning capacity, emotional or psychological trauma, property damage, pain and suffering, and much more. Additionally, if someone close to you died in a traffic collision, you may be entitled to damages via a wrongful death civil lawsuit.
At Dordulian Law Group, we have more than 20 years of experience helping victims of car accidents. To date, we have recovered over $100 million for our clients. One of the many advantages DLG offers car accident victims is the guarantee that your case will be investigated by a former Detective Supervisor with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Central Traffic Division.
Our Chief Investigator, Detective Moses Castillo, served as a decorated LAPD detective for nearly 30 years. In that time, he investigated and helped solve many high-profile car crashes, including hit-and-run and rollover accidents leading to traumatic injuries and fatalities.
With DLG, you can be sure that your case will be investigated properly, and that ultimately we will recover the maximum allowable financial damages award relative to your specific case.
Moreover, with former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, Samuel Dordulian, overseeing all car crash cases, you can be confident your claim will be litigated professionally, discreetly, and successfully.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and workers compensation concerns.