Tuesday brought the news of a tragedy to Auburndale High School. Winter Haven first responders received a call early on January 23 that a pedestrian had been hit near 34th St. and Avenue S NW. They pronounced the victim, 15-year old Yeriel Gonzalez, dead at the scene. He was struck while driving his electric scooter to school by a Dodge Durango, driven by 29-year old John Barrett III. Barrett says he swerved to miss dogs that ran unexpectedly into the road. Sadly, when overcorrecting behind the wheel, he didn’t see Gonzalez and hit him instead. Polk County Public Schools say of the victim:
“Yeriel was regarded as a talented baseball player and a leader among his peers in the school’s ESOL Club. This is a heartbreaking tragedy for AHS and Polk County Public Schools. Our hearts go out to Yeriel’s family and friends.”
We’re saddened at yet another death in the greater Tampa Bay community that could have been prevented. Our thoughts are with the family of the victim. It’s a reminder of the dangers of overcorrection behind the wheel.
What is overcorrection?
According to researchers, overcorrection is defined as “occurring when a driver abruptly steers the wheel more than is expected or necessary…occurs as the driver reacts to a sudden event.”
It’s estimated that overcorrection (on the part of the at-fault driver) causes 3.9% of all traffic fatalities. There are a variety of reasons for overcorrection accidents including:
- inexperienced drivers
- pushing limits with yellow traffic lights
- foul weather (snow, rain, ice)
- distracted drivers
- sudden events (animals running into the road or debris falling into path of the vehicle, etc.)
Regardless of the reason, overcorrection accidents are dangerous, and frequently deadly.
Overcorrection causes many kinds of accidents.
A few (of many) kinds of accidents caused by overcorrection are:
Because of the sudden, sharp movement of the vehicle, rollover accidents are common following overcorrection. This is especially true if the vehicle was speeding before the accident or if foul weather was a factor.
Accidents caused by overcorrection frequently end in vehicles rear-ending one another.
Loss of Control
When a driver suddenly slams on brakes, jerks the wheel, etc. it causes a drastic change in movement and momentum. This often leads to loss of control of the car, causing swerving, fishtailing, spinning, going off the road, and so forth.
Crossing into Oncoming Traffic
Related to the above, losing control of a vehicle can send a car into the path of oncoming traffic. Unfortunately, this is when secondary accidents and pileups happen. It’s a major issue on large, multi-lane highways like Interstate 75 and Interstate 4 here in Tampa.
How can I prevent overcorrecting behind the wheel when I’m driving?
Overcorrecting is dangerous, but you can prevent it with some basic awareness behind the wheel.
Avoid overcorrection by:
- keeping up with vehicle maintenance including brakes and tires. Under or over-inflated tires can make overcorrection worse!
- follow the posted speed limits
- be wary of weather conditions and adjust your speed accordingly (lower than the posted limit in poor conditions)
- leave plenty of distance between your vehicle and others
- stay aware while behind the wheel! Put down the phone, turn down the music, and pay attention to the road around you.
Did an overcorrecting driver lead to your injury?
If the overcorrection of another driver caused your accident, you are eligible for legal help! The team at Brooks Law Group is here to make sure you get the justice and compensation you deserve. We have years of experience working with victims just like you. We work around the clock to put together a strong case. Our team pulls all necessary information and paperwork to prove that another driver’s recklessness or negligence caused your injuries and ongoing suffering.
You don’t have to fight alone or continue to bear your pain in silence. Please call us for a free consultation to talk about your case. Brooks Law Group works on a contingency fee basis, so you never have to worry about affording legal help. We are local lawyers here for the Tampa Bay community, committed to personalized care and outstanding results.
When overcorrection leads to an accident, victims always Look to Brooks!