This Dash Cam of the Week comes to us from the Arizona Dept. of Public Safety, who found the trucker’s video of the “horrific chain of events” so compelling they used it as the basis for a cautionary campaign on the dangers of tailgating.
“On August 3, 2016, at approximately 11:18 a.m., on westbound I-10 near mile post 315.7 (Dragoon), a green Ford passenger car, driven by Briana Disaia, 23, of Texas, swerved to avoid a mattress that was lying in the left traffic lane,” the DPS news release details. “The driver of the pickup directly in front of Ms. Disaia was able to see the mattress and avoid it. Since Ms. Disaia was following too closely, she failed to see the mattress early enough to give herself the time to react appropriately.
“Ms. Disaia maneuvered her car abruptly in order to avoid the mattress but lost control of her vehicle in the process. Her car struck a commercial vehicle on her right, then traveled left into the median where she struck the side of a mountain and then rolled over. Ms. Disaia was able to get herself and her cat out of the vehicle. She was checked by emergency medical personnel but refused treatment. “
“I can’t believe no one was hurt,” Ms. Disaia said. “I’m definitely very thankful to have been wearing my seat belt and that my cat was ok.”
AZ DPS Captain Dean Chase said, “There are two lessons to be learned here, the first is that seat belts do save lives. Had Ms. Disaia not been wearing her seat belt, investigators are certain she would have been critically injured or deceased. The second lesson is, riding the bumper of the car in front of you does not get you to your destination any faster. Give adequate following distance and get there safely.”
For good measure, the news release also includes a link to the “following too closely” state statute.
And, in case you're wondering:
@Arizona_DPS and to clarify, the crash did occur on August 3rd, 2016. The driver did not set the date at time as he just purchased it.— Kameron Lee, PIO (@dps_pio_lee) August 5, 2016