July 22, 2016 · FLEMING | NOLEN | JEZ, L.L.P.
Despite their helpfulness and how much they benefit the economy, large commercial trucks can prove to be dangerous. Their sheer size in combination with even the smallest problem can result in a serious collision. This was exactly the case over the past week when two separate, non-related fatal truck crashes occurred. Oftentimes, it may take some time to determine the exact causes of these types of accidents. Because of this, there must be a thorough investigation launched into the crashes to learn more about what may have caused the crash. Learn more about the two collisions and some details below.
Knoxville Crash Involving Car and Truck
According to Knoxville police, two individuals are dead after a crash on the Interstate 40 early Wednesday morning. A 67-year-old truck driver and another driver, aged 21, were both killed in the collision. The police received reports of the crash at roughly 1:04 A.M. The early reports state that the SUV had entered the westbound lanes going the wrong way, when just seconds later, the driver collided head on with the tractor trailer that was carrying a dangerous chemical.
Reports from the accident show that the tractor trailer was carrying hundreds of pounds of Benzoquinone, a chemical that is used for dyes and paints and is considered to be hazardous. Officials allowed the chemical to burn in order to prevent water and soil contamination. The collision resulted in all lanes on the I-40 being closed while the scene was investigated and cleaned up. The investigation was still pending and it was unknown what caused the crash to occur.
Three Dead After Trucking Crash in Louisiana
According to reports, on Monday, a large 18-wheeler and a pickup truck collided and three residents of Kentwood died. The pickup driver was traveling southbound on U.S. 51 when traffic began to slow down. Unfortunately, the truck did not stop and he collided into the back of the large commercial truck. None of the victims were wearing their seatbelts and they were killed as a result of the crash. The investigation into the crash is still ongoing and the state lab is analyzing the individuals’ blood samples for toxicology to determine if alcohol was a factor.
Officials are still trying to determine why the truck did not stop.
Trucking Accident Statistics
Unfortunately, these types of collisions are far too common and because of the size of the truck, when they happen, they can have deadly consequences. Understanding the potential dangers is very important when traveling the road with these large commercial vehicles. Of the 3,093 fatal large truck crashes that occurred in 2014, over 70% of those who were killed were occupants of the other vehicles, compared to just 17% of those in the truck itself. This is because the differences in size between these large commercial vehicles and the other vehicles that are on the road.
In 2014, more than 111,000 people were injured nationwide in collisions involving large commercial trucks. Similar to the fatal crashes, 74% of those injured were occupants in the other vehicles. This was a 19% increase from the previous year when 69,000 occupants in other vehicles were harmed to 82,000 the following year. A majority of the accidents that occur happen during the weekdays — when people are driving to work — and arise more often during the day than at night. This appears to be associated with the total number of vehicles on the road and the increased possibility of a crash.
At Fleming | Nolen | Jez, L.L.P., we understand how often these large commercial truck crashes occur. We also know how to determine the cause and work with victims to hold the at-fault party accountable for his or her actions. We have handled numerous cases like this before involving commercial trucks and those in much smaller vehicles. In 2014, Texas was home to the most fatal truck crashes with 4,895 total. Of these, more than 10% — or 532 — involved a large truck. This is an unacceptable number and regulations set forth are determined to prevent negligence-related collisions from randomly occurring when they are preventable.
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