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“I have been prosecuting serious injury and wrongful death cases against trucking companies, auto makers and tire manufacturers for more than 30 years. Our firm maintains this blog to share information and insight on transportation safety issues that continue to arise on our nation’s highways and roads.”

Robert Joyner loses life in rollover SUV accident

BRISTOL COUNTY, Mass. Robert Joyner, a 42-year-old Boston resident, tragically died Dec. 7 in a rollover accident at the S-Curve on Route 18 in New Bedford.

The SUV Joyner was driving crashed and flipped onto its roof in the median of Route 18 at the S-Curve between Union and Walnut streets, according to a local news article. No passengers were in the vehicle.

The accident occurred at about 5:30 a.m. A heavy-duty truck had to be used to lift the vehicle so that the victim could be extracted.

Authorities have not released any information on factors that may have contributed to the crash.

A local news report said the section of Route 18 where the crash occurred is known as a “racetrack” by frequent users. Those motorists said, “recent reconstruction of the roadway has done little to slow traffic down,” according to the article.

Commentary on the fatal rollover accident that took the life of Robert Joyner

Rollover accidents are a scourge on our communities. With the advancements in technology over the past fifty years, one would think we could have solved this issue by now. While this issue is complex and pervasive, there are several steps we can take to reduce the number of deaths from rollover accidents going forward.

First, wear your seatbelt. I review countless accidents every week and am amazed at the number of occupants that fail to wear their seatbelts. In rollover accidents specifically, seatbelts save lives.

Second, drive the speed limit. State and local legislatures work with various experts to ensure speed limits comply with established safety standards. Failing to drive the speed limit, especially on curves, limits the driver’s control over the vehicle. 

And third, pay attention. Technology today allows investigators to determine exactly what the driver was doing at the time of the accident. Far too many drivers are not paying attention when the accident occurs. A driver that is not paying attention to their immediate surroundings is unable to engage in evasive actions when the need arises.

Unfortunately, accidents occur every day even when all precautions are adhered to. The report in this matter does not suggest Mr. Joyner was speeding or unrestrained at time of the accident. Under these circumstances, it is vital for a detailed investigation to be conducted to determine what could have been done to prevent this fatal accident. Often, manufacturer flaw or defect in the crashworthiness of the vehicle is an underlying cause and subjects the manufacturer to liability.

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