It only takes a moment for everything to change. For world-famous PGA champion pro golfer Tiger Woods, there have been more than a few life-changing moments for better and worse, but the most recent and the most serious happened on February 23rd, 2021. The 45-year-old athlete was driving past Rolling Hills Country Club on his way to a celebrity event when everything went wrong.
Woods reached a stretch of road known for being dangerous, and for reasons still not known, the car he was driving jumped the median into oncoming traffic, rolled multiple times, and crashed directly into the Rolling Hills welcome sign and a tree.
Woods’ legs were “seriously injured.” He was immediately rushed to the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he underwent emergency surgery. The exact outcome of that surgery still is not known, but Woods remains hospitalized. Statements from his Twitter account state that the surgery went well and Woods is now recovering at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles where he is receiving follow-up treatment.
There’s significant speculation about the cause of the car accident. Woods has had several other car accidents in the past that didn’t lead to such serious injuries. According to officials at the crash scene, Woods stated he didn’t remember driving before the crash and did not know what caused the accident.
Local law enforcement received a search warrant to get the car’s “black box,” which records the driver’s actions. The black box’s data has not been released.
Another important factor may be the road itself. Hawthorne Boulevard, where the accident occurred, has seen thirteen other accidents in thirteen months. The road has a significant slope, and cars heading downhill like Woods may struggle to control their speed. This is so well-known that the street features multiple signs warning trucks to slow down. There’s even a runaway car lane at the bottom of the slope, just past where Woods crashed.
Regardless of other circumstances, the road poses a known danger to traffic. Here’s just how many threats steep, winding roads like Hawthorne Blvd. pose to the average driver.
The Dangers of Winding Roads
If you look at Hawthorn Blvd. on a map, you’ll see a road that curves repeatedly and dramatically the space of just two miles. The street winds around established neighborhoods to avoid disrupting homes and local road networks. While this keeps the local aesthetics consistent, it also sets local drivers up for failure.
It’s a known fact that roads that curved streets are more dangerous than straight roads. Roads with S curves, or curves that reverse direction halfway through, are most dangerous of all. Why? For several reasons.
First, when a car is going around a curve, it relies on its tires’ grip to prevent momentum from sliding it off the edge of the road. The sharper the curve, the more work your tires need to do to keep you on the road. S-curves require you to adjust your car’s momentum in two directions, one after another, which is even more complicated.
Second, curves make it harder to see what’s ahead of you on the road. An S curve can turn a moment’s inattention into a dangerous accident if you miss where the curve flips and you drive off the road. Smart city planners avoid S curves wherever possible to keep roads and drivers safe.
The Dangers of High Speeds and Slopes
An S curve on its own is bad, but Hawthorne Blvd. adds two other dangers to the mix: high speeds and slopes. While the area’s speed limit is 45 miles per hour, drivers naturally accelerate while going downhill like Woods. It takes effort to keep your car from defying the pull of gravity. High speeds and curves make it more likely drivers will lose control and skid or roll their vehicle, even if they’re following traffic laws.
Downhill slopes and curves are also a bad mix. The pull of gravity plus the curving street is another potential combination that can cause your tires to lose their grip on the road. When all three of these dangerous elements are in play simultaneously, even the safest driver can wind up in an accident.
Holding Transportation Authorities Accountable
When the road is to blame for an accident, drivers may be able to hold local authorities accountable. By filing a lawsuit for injuries in a crash or for the wrongful death of your loved one, you might be able to sue the agency in charge of the roads.
Before you can file a lawsuit against local government agencies, however, you will need to do three things. First, you’ll need to identify who’s in charge of the road on which you crashed. Different roads in the same area may be under various jurisdictions. You can contact the California Department of Transport to find this information.
Second, you will need to identify whether you can even sue in the first place since many government agencies are immune from civil lawsuits unless you follow a specific local administrative claim process.
Third, you need to make sure you have a legal claim. If you can show that the agency in charge of the roads was somehow negligent when they designed the road, then you may have a claim.
There are many moving parts to any civil lawsuit, but a lawsuit against the government is particularly complicated. If you’re considering filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the agency in charge of a local road, getting the right legal representation will make all the difference.
No One Is Immune to Dangerous Roads
After Woods recovers, he may be able to consider a lawsuit against the authorities in charge of Hawthorne Blvd. Roads like Hawthorne Blvd. put every driver at risk, and the authorities should be held accountable for injuries and deaths that these roads cause.
Working with the right wrongful death attorney can help you choose the best course of action. Experienced attorneys can help you collect evidence, prove negligence, and get the compensation you deserve for your injuries or the death of your loved one. Reach out to Anna Dubrovsky Law Group Inc. today for your free case review.