The Numbers on Trucking Accidents

Sep 09

With its intricate system of highways covering vast swaths of the country, it is no surprise that the number of car accidents that happen each day in The United States is staggering. It is an oft quoted statistic that traveling by car is the most dangerous way to travel, but when the accident involves a semi truck, many more people can be affected. There are a number of reasons why a huge trailer may cause an accident, but many of these could be prevented by proper government or company responses.

According to ABC news in Wisconsin, a few weeks ago an 18-wheeler crashed into an overpass in Milwaukee that was not tall enough for the truck to safely pass under. Even though the overpass was marked with how tall it was, the driver of the trailer noticed too late that he was not going to clear it. The semi-truck driver was from Indiana, but he had made a wrong turn from his planned route and slammed into the overpass, missing his mark by over a foot. The driver of the truck, Curtis Stevenson, says that he did not notice the eight low clearance signs as they were crushed by the truck. The article states, however, that this was not the first time someone had hit that particular overpass. In 2012, there was a crash there involving a semi-truck that just barely wedged itself under the bridge and eventually drove off. Luckily, it seems like this accident did not cause any fatalities or serious injuries to the driver or others on the road.

Thankfully, no one was harmed in this incident, but it is not difficult to imagine that it could have easily caused a few fatalities. It is good that companies have routes pre-planned from the start, to make sure their drivers will be able to clear any obstacles, but local governments can help in this case by making the signage more visible above overpasses so that the truck drivers have time to respond properly. Adding more signs is not going to do much if none of them can be seen from far away. In addition, the driver who made the wrong turn ought to have particularly vigilant about overpasses. It could have been that he was sleepy or distracted, but regardless of what party was at fault, it always a good idea to contact a truck driving accident lawyer in the event of any crash.

Considering how dangerous highway accidents can be, particularly when a huge vehicle is involved, truck drivers should be highly trained professionals. Knowing where to look for clearance signage and being aware of the dimensions of your vehicle should be emphasized in training to prevent future accidents of this sort. State governments could also update the signage already there to ensure truck drivers can see it from a long enough distance away to be able to brake in time. Since this has happened before, it was not a freak accident; something needs to change.

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