Page IV: Vision Issues in Trucking Accidents
Summary of Case: A truck driver hailing two trailers loaded with goods stopped at an intersection, looked in both directions to confirm that traffic was clear before making a left turn to the eastbound land of a highway. Moderately dense fog covered the area. A GMC vehicle driven by a one-eyed driver and traveling westbound from an overpass 400 feet away was not able to stop in time. His vehicle struck the second trailer, caught fire, and he was fatally injured. A witness estimated that the driver of the GMC was speeding at about 60 miles per hour in a 40 mile per hour recommended zone. Her statement was corroborated by an accident reconstruction expert after analysis of the tire marks on the roadway and crush injury to the vehicle. The plaintiff argued that the truck driver was negligent for not choosing an alternative route and failing to yield the right of way to the other vehicle. The defense argued that 500 feet visibility as reported by the investigating police officer was adequate for the GMC driver to stop in a timely fashion, but that excess speed while traveling with limited visibility over an overpass limited his reaction time. The defense also argued that drivers with only one functioning eye need to be extra vigilant and take necessary precautions because of vision limitations. Therefore, the driver of the GMC vehicle was at fault for speeding, crossing the double-yellow line, and failing to exercise reasonable precautions because of his monocular status.
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