Accidents between passenger vehicles and heavy commercial trucks usually end with fatalities and/or severe injuries. The protection offered by the body of a car or pickup truck is just not robust enough to protect occupants against the impact of a truck that could weigh thousands of pounds. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced that the Hazleton police had to attend to two separate truck accidents on a recent Thursday morning.
According to statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,921 people lost their lives in 2012 in crashes involving commercial trucks nationwide, including in Pennsylvania. Another 104,000 people were injured in truck accidents. For other road users, these numbers are alarming, and motorists may feel threatened when they have to share the roadways with big rigs.
When cars are in the way of out-of-control commercial trucks, the occupants of the cars often have slim chances of survival. Truck accidents on Pennsylvania highways often result from drivers not taking note of the traffic conditions ahead. Three occupants of two cars were fortunate to survive a recent crash that involved multiple vehicles.
A 67-year-old Pennsylvania man lost his life on a recent Tuesday afternoon in an accident for which the other driver is now facing multiple charges, including vehicular homicide. This semi\-truck crash involved eight vehicles and occurred in Salem Township on Route 22. Reportedly, a similar truck accident injured three people on that stretch of road about this time last year.
Some Pennsylvania residents who have loved ones in health care centers are concerned about the level of care they receive. Such a facility in another state was recently sued by the executor of the estate of a patient who died at the facility in November 2014. The medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that the defendants administered an unnecessary and powerful opioid painkiller that rendered the patient debilitated for the 18 months leading up to her death.
A group of tourists from another country was traveling in a contracted bus on a sightseeing trip when their vacation was abruptly interrupted. While traveling on Interstate 380 in Pennsylvania, the bus was involved in a semi-truck crash. State police are investigating the deadly accident to determine the reason for the semi-truck crossing a wide median into the traffic lane of the bus.
Whenever motorists are driving on Pennsylvania roads, they are exposed to many safety hazards. The dangers are multiplied during the winter when snow accumulates on roadways or in areas where ice forms on the road surface. While weather conditions are often blamed for accidents, it remains a driver's responsibility to recognize the hazards and drive accordingly. Interstate 70 westbound was closed for almost nine hours after a recent fatal tractor trailer accident.
After failing to obtain Pennsylvania General Assembly approval previously, a state senator recently reintroduced legislation that will require drivers of tractor-trailers to ensure that their vehicles are free of accumulated ice and snow before taking to the road. She is hopeful that the proposal will be successful this time. Although truckers may be penalized if someone suffers severe injuries that are caused by ice or snow originating from a truck under current law, she endeavors to be proactive and prevent such truck accidents rather than waiting for tragedies to happen.
Many drivers of passenger vehicles feel threatened by 18-wheelers and other large trucks on Pennsylvania roads. Considering the size and weight of these vehicles, the feeling of vulnerability is understandable. Media reports regularly describe fatalities and life-changing injuries caused by truck drivers who are exhausted from driving for periods longer than the law allows. In many cases, the vehicles that are involved in truck accidents carry massive loads that require drivers to be alert at all times.
Truck drivers who disregard road safety regulations can be the cause of devastating accidents. Trucks typically need more space than a car to come to a halt, and many truck accidents in Pennsylvania and other states occur when the drivers fail to keep a safe following distance. Driving at a rate of speed unsuitable for traffic conditions and following too closely, combined with alcohol intake, is a foolproof recipe for fatal accidents.