Distracted lorry driver jailed for causing serious crash

'He has time to reflect on the consequences of his actions in prison'

A LORRY driver from Lincolnshire has been jailed for 18 months after pleading guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Nottinghamshire Police said David Price, 65, was also given a 29-month driving ban for ploughing into the back of a queue of cars on the A17 near Newark on June 8, 2018.

Footage from a dash cam on Price’s lorry shows the moment the HGV smashes into the back of a Renault Clio. Police said the lorry was travelling at 49mph at the moment of impact, which meant there was enough force to catapult the Renault into the rear of an Audi A1, which in turn collided with another lorry.

Both car drivers were hospitalised after the crash, with police saying the woman behind the wheel of the Renault Clio was particularly badly injured. Multiple operations were required for a number of life-changing injuries including a broken back, rib fractures and a bleed in the brain. She was also forced to postpone her university studies.

The Audi A1 driver suffered “significant injuries” and required time off work to recover.

Police didn’t reveal what caused Price to lose concentration but said the lorry driver reacted when it was far too late to avoid the collision. A crash investigation showed Price began applying the brakes when he was just 15 metres from the ill-fated Clio, even though it would have taken around 50 metres to bring the vehicle to a complete standstill from 49mph in an emergency stop.

The footage was released as a warning to drivers to pay attention when behind the wheel

Nottinghamshire Police Inspector Heather Sutton said: “Price’s dangerous driving caused catastrophic life-changing injuries within the space of a few seconds. It could all have been avoided if he had paid attention when behind the wheel. Now he has time to reflect on the consequences of his actions in prison.”

She added that the dash cam footage was released with the agreement of the victims, as a warning to drivers to pay attention when behind the wheel.

According to data from the Department for Transport, of the 84,968 reported road accidents in the UK in 2018, 32,124 were primarily caused by drivers and riders not looking properly where they were going, and the road user’s failure to correctly judge another person’s path or speed was cited as a contributory factor in another 16,883 incidents.

Official statistics show inattentiveness behind the wheel can have some extremely serious repercussions. In 2018 alone, accidents caused by road users who weren’t properly paying attention resulted in the deaths of 392 people (almost a quarter of the 1,557 people who were reportedly killed on UK roads that year), and another 7,189 people being seriously injured.