Passenger Emergency? Don’t Get Distracted!

  • Jan 04 2016
  • Gilleon Law Firm, APC

audi_distractedIn an ironic twist, a passenger’s fatal heart attack may have caused the driver of the vehicle to become distracted, leading to a single-car crash, according to recent reports.  The crash occurred on Torrey Pines Road, just east of Hidden Valley Road, when the 81-year-old female driver of a Lexus crossed over the median, striking a curb and signal box.  The crash was precipitated by a heart attack suffered by her 77-year-old passenger.  The victim was rushed to an area hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.  The driver does not appear to have been injured serious in the crash.

Heart Attack/Stroke-Related Crashes

In most cases in which a heart attack, stroke or other sudden seizure causes an accident, it is due to a medical emergency on the part of the driver.  It is difficult to state with certainty exactly how many crashes relate to these types of incidents; many single-car crashes are thought to have originated with a medical emergency, but the facts of the crash may never be completely clear.

However, when someone else has a heart attack in your vehicle while you are driving, it is very easy to become distracted.  This distraction could lead to a serious accident that could not only injury the already-sick passenger but you as well.  Here are some tips for staying safe if there is a medical emergency in your car:

  • Do not panic. It is very easy to panic in a frightening situation, but the calmer you remain, the better your chances of handling the situation safely.
  • Pull over. The best thing you can usually do when there is an emergency in your car is to pull over to a safe spot off the road.  From there you can render aid or summon help.
  • Ask others to help. If someone else is in the car with you and the sick person, ask for that passenger’s help in stabilizing the victim while you drive to a hospital.  If you do not know where the nearest hospital is located, pull over and call 911.
  • Do not move the victim. If possible, keep the victim buckled in and upright until you know the cause of the seizure.  If you must move the victim, do so carefully and allow him or her to recline on the seat until help arrives.  Loosen clothing around the throat and speak calmly to the victim.

If you have been the victim of a car accident, contact Daniel M. Gilleon in San Diego today for help.


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