Cochise County, Ariz. — Video recorded by a commercial truck driver captured a horrific chain of events in which a passenger car collided into the side of a mountain and then violently rolled-over into the path of Interstate 10 traffic near Benson. The driver had been following the vehicle directly in front of her too closely and failed to see a discarded mattress partially blocking the roadway prior the collision. Incredibly, the driver escaped serious injury due to the fact that she was wearing her seat belt.
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 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.”
State Troopers remind drivers to give adequate distance between their vehicles and the vehicles in front of them. At 55 mph, it is recommended that drivers provide for at least a three second gap. That time and gap should increase the faster you are traveling.
To read the “following too closely” State statute, click here: http://www.azleg.gov/viewdocument/?docName=http://www.azleg.gov/ars/28/00730.htm
Also read safety recommendations in the Arizona Driver’s Manual; See page 23: https://www.azdot.gov/docs/default-source/mvd-forms-pubs/99-0117.pdf?sfvrsn=0