Fatal Accident Reported in Cookeville Sunday Night
A two-vehicle accident killed one person and seriously injured another in Putnam County Sunday night.
Per a report by the Herald-Citizen, the accident occurred at around 7:30 p.m. at the intersection of South Willow Avenue and West Jackson Street when a vehicle that was traveling southbound collided with another vehicle that was headed northbound.
A major with the Cookeville Police Department says that the two vehicles collided when the northbound vehicle turned west onto West Jackson and in front of the path of the southbound vehicle. One of the victims—an 87-year-old woman—died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center at around 4 a.m. Monday morning because of the injuries she suffered in the crash.
The woman’s husband was also seriously injured and remains hospitalized at Vanderbilt, but there’s no information about his condition. Both the woman and her husband were treated by emergency responders with the Putnam County EMS, and both were initially transported to Cookeville Regional Medical Center before being moved to Vanderbilt.
Officers with the Cookeville Police Department are still working to determine what caused the crash.
Tips for Preventing Accidents When Turning Left
Because they involve crossing lanes of traffic, left-hand turns can be dangerous if they’re not approached with caution—especially when you’re turning at medians or in areas where you don’t automatically have the right of way. Motorcyclists are at extreme risk when making left-hand turns, but all drivers can be seriously injured during these scenarios if they’re inattentive or other drivers are speeding.
Some of the best ways to protect yourself include:
- Keep your wheels pointed straight when waiting to turn.
Many drivers position their vehicles with the wheels already turned towards the direction they’re headed, whether they’re stopped at red lights or at medians. This can be dangerous, as getting rear-ended can push your vehicle into the path of oncoming traffic. Keep your wheels aligned straight ahead and don’t turn them until the path is clear or you have the right of way to cross lanes of traffic.
- Wait to enter the intersection, even if you get a green light.
Always resist the temptation to immediately accelerate and enter the intersection when you get a green light. Some drivers heading in the opposite direction may be tempted to “beat” the red light, especially during rush hour and when there is a heavy traffic volume on the road. Pause and wait for a few moments and be sure that vehicles have come to a complete stop at the opposite traffic light before you accelerate.
- Don’t rely on right of way or green lights—take the time to survey the road or intersection.
Having the right of way or even a green turn signal are good indicators that you can safely complete a left turn, but they’re not always foolproof. Others drivers may run red lights, enter roadways traveling in the wrong direction, or attempt U-turns that put their vehicles in your path. Scan the roadway before you begin making the turn to check for any potential hazards, even after the light turns green.
- Always use your turn signal.
It’s important to use a turn signal in all instances, even if you’re in a left-turn only lane. Your turn signal not only gives drivers across from you an easy to judge your intentions, but it also keeps drivers behind you aware of them as well. Finally, it’s required by law in Tennessee to signal before making turns, so staying in the habit of using it can help you avoid an expensive citation.
Left turns put drivers at risk for two of the deadliest types of crashes—head-on collisions and T-bone collisions. If your daily commute involves making a left turn at a dangerous intersection that’s the site of frequent collisions, consider taking an alternate route or even making three right turns instead of a single left turn. It may add a few minutes to your commute, but it can be much safer.
At Matt Hardin Law, our Cookeville auto accident attorneys know that many left-turn accidents are caused by negligent drivers. If you or someone you know was injured in a left-turn crash caused by a careless driver, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation. To find out how our legal team can assist you during this time, just dial (931) 754-1188 or complete a free online consultation form.