On Tuesday afternoon a white 2007 Corvette collided head-on with a semi truck on Highway 166 in San Luis Obispo County. The driver of the Corvette was air-lifted to a local hospital where he died from his injuries. There were no witnesses to the collision so officials are examining the physical evidence to determine what happened. Early reports were that the skid marks from the Corvette went from the East-bound lane, into the West-bound lane where the collision occurred.
Tragically, the driver of the Corvette was not wearing a seat-belt and was ejected from the car after the impact with the truck. Highway 166 is widely used road between Bakersfield and Santa Maria on the Central Coast. Much of the road is two lanes and has many sharp curves. While the posted speed limit is 55 MPH, many of the curves require a much slower speed.
We do not yet know whether sped was a factor, but a 2007 Corvette for some reason moved into the opposing lane while the driver is not wearing a seat-belt. Experience tells me speed was likely a factor. The CHP will no doubt examine all possible factors that might have contributed to the accident. It is always possible that the Corvette swerved to miss another car, or a pedestrian. The CHP will look at the condition of the road, signage, and even mechanical issues with the Corvette to determine the cause of the accident
Regardless of the cause, the one fact that cannot be ignored is the failure to wear a seat-belt. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, a driver is 17% more likely to die in an automobile accident if he is not wearing a seat-belt. California has a mandatory seat-belt law for a reason. If you in an automobile on a public road, please wear a seat-belt.