A terrible accident took place in Newport, North Carolina a few weeks ago that resulted in several people being taken to the hospital for treatment of their injuries. The two vehicle crash took place early one evening and is being blamed on one driver’s failure to turn on her headlights.
Police say they have charged the one driver with failure to burn her headlights and to properly inflate her tires. The woman was driving her car, an older model Pontiac, west on Highway 70 in Newport, NC with only her parking lights on. It was then that a van making a left turn onto Highway 70 crashed into the Pontiac. Five people were taken to a local hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, while emergency responders at the scene treated a sixth person.
In a normal accident that unfolds in this way, many might think that the car that turned left onto Highway 70 and thus into the path of the Pontiac would be at fault since it did not respect the right of way of the oncoming vehicle. However, the driver of the Pontiac did not have her headlights on which meant she is being held liable for the terrible accident.
North Carolina General Statutes § 20-131 is very clear on the requirement for drivers to keep their headlights on. The language of the law reads:
The headlamps of motor vehicles shall be so constructed, arranged, and adjusted that, except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, they will at all times mentioned in G.S. 20 129, and under normal atmospheric conditions and on a level road, produce a driving light sufficient to render clearly discernible a person 200 feet ahead.
The dangers posed by drivers not turning their lights on when it is dark outside are abundantly clear. Other drivers are not able to see the vehicles and accidents just like the one in this case can occur.
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