While the thought of a motorist talking, texting or surfing the web while speeding down the highway is certainly unnerving, the thought of a truck driver being similarly distracted is downright frightening. After all, the sheer size and weight of most 18-wheelers coupled with their high rate of speed often means those involved in truck accidents suffer serious or even deadly injuries.
Truck Accidents Archives
Now that the long winter has finally coming to an end and spring is officially in the air, people all over the state of Pennsylvania are busy making plans to get outside and enjoy the warm weather. For some this may mean heading to Philadelphia to take in a baseball game or traveling to a state park for a hike, while for others it may simply mean making a trip down the highway to the local home improvement store to buy gardening supplies.
There is no disputing the destruction that can occur when a negligent truck driver plows directly into a passenger car or motorcycle at an unacceptably high rate of speed. However, what happens when the opposite occurs, meaning an inattentive or reckless motorist crashes into a semi?
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety -- an organization "dedicated to reducing the losses from crashes on the nation's roads" -- recently released the results of its most recent crash test, which was designed to test the strength of a vital piece of safety equipment found on tractor trailers throughout North America.
A truck accident between a normal sized automobile and a semi is one of the scariest scenarios imaginable, and unfortunately, one that plays out all the time on roads throughout Pennsylvania and across the nation. The fatalities, severe injuries and property damage resulting from these events are truly nightmarish.
Too often, even the age of traffic cams, extensive detective technology, and the wealth of online data and communication lines available through the internet, drivers involved in serious accidents seem to believe that they can run from their actions. As hit-and-run incidents continue to claim the lives of innocent drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians year after year, the prospect of a deadly accident going unsolved and unaccounted for is a terrible reality for too many American families.
It goes without saying that driving a truck is no easy task. Truck drivers must be able to navigate a rather complex machine weighing several thousand pounds and measuring upwards of 50 feet long thorough heavy traffic and/or poor weather conditions.
There's no disputing that technological advancements can help prevent serious and fatal truck accidents. Nevertheless, the federal government's attempt to mandate that all new trucks be outfitted with this accident-preventing technology can be controversial. Earlier this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed that heavy-duty trucks and buses be required to have electronic stability control systems, starting only a few years from now. The agency says the technology would help prevent rollover accidents, which are responsible for 700 deaths every year. At a recent hearing on the proposed requirement, however, representatives of truck-manufacturing companies praised the technology, but raised concerns about the road-test requirements that went along with it.
It's no secret that accidents involving large commercial trucks tend to be more dangerous than crashes involving only smaller vehicles. In fact, while only three percent of all vehicles registered in the U.S. are large trucks, those trucks account for a disproportionate number of traffic-accident fatalities.
The nation's roadways can be dangerous places, especially when drivers don't get enough rest. The Washington Times recently reported on a new study from the National Sleep Foundation that found that the risk of truck accidents, car crashes and other highway dangers is on the rise partly because drivers are not getting enough sleep. Specifically, the study found that truckers, train engineers and pilots tend to be sleepier than most U.S. workers, making them more likely to be involved in some type of crash.