Thankfully, no one was seriously injured, and both drivers involved escaped with minor injuries.
A Dodge Charger was caught on dash cam earlier this weekend on Sunday (Sept. 20,2020) passing a caravan of cars on a semi-blind corner of Highway 178 in Bakersfield, but illegally crossing double-yellow lines. Not seeing and miscalculating a truck approaching in the opposite lane, the Dodge Charger cannot swerve out of the way in time and crashes head-on into the other vehicle.
This crash should not be confused with an unfortunate fatal crash involving a motorcycle-rider and patrolling police deputy that occurred one day prior on the 19th in and around the same area. The aforementioned crash highlights just how dangerous this stretch of road is.
Thanks to GPS coordinate data on the dashcam, we can see the crash occurred about halfway between Bakersfield and Lake Isabella. Here’s that location on Google Maps.
It’s not clear how fast they were going but taking into account the maximum 55 MPH speed limit on two-lane highway roads of this nature and their spacing, it looks like they’re driving at or slightly above the legal limit.
Regular drivers on this highway are probably used to higher speeds, and it looks like human nature got the best of this Dodge Charger driver.
Then again, there are reasons there’s a double-solid yellow line. Traffic engineers have deemed it unsafe to pass given the winding nature of the road.
Ironically enough, 178 eventually opens up into two lanes of traffic going in the same direction less than a mile from scene of the collision. And it’s much the same through 178, there are plenty of turnouts for slower drivers and the highway expands into multiple lanes for passing where there’s adequate space and enough straight road.
Here’s a photo of the driver sitting next to his wrecked Charger posted by a Bakersfield resident who drove by shortly after the crash.
According to the Ashley Donoho, the daughter of the driver in the truck hit, both drivers and their passengers escaped with minor injuries despite the fatal nature of the collision.
“The truck is my dad. He was on his way up to meet his brand new grandson. This (hearing about the crash) is how I found out he was coming for a surprise visit. My husband and brother rushed down as soon as we got the call and it looks like everyone is okay. That’s all that matters.“
If you’re in a faster car, following slower cars can be frustrating. The right thing to do is take it easy and wait for the appropriate and legal passing situation. The road will either open up into multiple lanes, eventually, or a dotted line on your side shows it’s safe to switch in to the other lane to overtake.
Alternatively, you can pull off the road and chill for a couple of minutes, letting a big enough space to open up between you and the slower cars.
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