Five Killed in Montana Truck Rollover

Trucking accident lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm report of a recent northern Montana crash that killed five people and injured two others. The crash occurred after a pickup truck driver lost control and rolled his vehicle.

The driver, a 28-year-old man from Babb, was driving near Browning when he rolled his truck. He is one of the deceased, the others being one male and three females, all between the ages of 17 and 24, from Browning, and riding in the truck at the time.

The specific cause of the crash is still under investigation by the Montana Highway Patrol, but authorities say speed was definitely a factor, and that none of the trucks’ passengers were wearing seatbelts. Two other passengers were taken to the hospital, treated for injuries, and released.

Meanwhile in Illinois, Aurora police are searching for a driver who fled the scene after hitting and critically injuring a 13-year-old boy. The boy was attempting to cross the street in the western Chicago suburb at about five pm.

The car that struck him was a Nissan Pathfinder, according to the Sun-Times, and he sustained serious head trauma. The driver, however, continued to drive eastbound on 5th Avenue, ultimately fleeing north. Witnesses called emergency responders, who took the boy to Rush-Copley Medical Center and then airlifted him to Loyola University Medical Center.

Witnesses described the Nissan as dark in color, and the driver may have been a Hispanic female. Aurora Area Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone with tips leading to an arrest. The Crime Stoppers can be reached at 630.892.1000, and the Aurora Police Department at 630.256.5330.

Police in the Chicago area are also searching for a maroon Hyundai Sonata that struck and killed a woman the Bridgeport neighborhood. The Hyundai hit the woman, 21-year-old Carissa Hinz, around 11 pm on South Morgan Street. She died at the scene, her autopsy confirming she passed away from multiple injuries from the vehicle striking her. The driver was a Hispanic man in his 20s, and the Hyundai had two other occupants at the time of the crash.

Our auto accident attorneys recently reported on a study by the AAA that deserves additional review. The study aimed to determine the actual safeness of “hands-free” on-the-road technology, such as voice-to-text systems. American authorities and the public alike automatically assume that any technology termed “hands-free” is safer to use while driving than traditional methods, which take your hands off the wheel and eyes off the road.

The reality, however, may be surprising to some, and damaging to automakers who have invested massive amounts of time and money in voice-controlled technology. The study is titled “Measuring Cognitive Distraction in the Automobile”; researchers developed metrics to rate and compare the level of cognitive distraction while performing certain tasks while driving.

Results from the study showed that talking to a passenger, using a hand-held phone, and making hands-free phone calls all entailed similar levels of cognitive distraction. Surprisingly, using voice-to-text systems to send text messages or emails created MORE distraction. Text-to speech tasks were actually classified as Category Three level distractions, whereas the others were listed as Category Two.

This is because voice-dictated messages require much of the brain’s focus, taking that energy off the act of driving. Participants’ eyes were on the road, but their minds were creating and editing messages to friends and colleagues, and they were often unable to avoid blatant roadway obstacles, such as other cars and pedestrians.

Auto accident attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm highlight this study to remind the public that distractions, no matter how cutting-edge, are still distractions while on the road. Anything that takes your mind off the act of driving, if even momentarily, is a danger, and may cause you to be liable in a crash. If you or a loved one was seriously injured in an auto accident caused by the negligence of another you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and emotional distress.