Car Hit by a Semi Truck Accident
A semi-trailer rolled over into oncoming traffic on Black Diamond Road in Auburn killing one woman and injuring three more. The trailer struck a car and threw it onto a guardrail according to the Mountain View Fire and Rescue unit that responded to the crash scene. They found it precariously dangling over a ravine.
“The extraction was really difficult — the car [was] actually leaning over the guardrail,” said Tim Perciful with Mountain View Fire & Rescue. “So a pretty difficult extraction and due to the mechanism of the crash, it was pretty severe.”
A man and a child were also in the vehicle when this devastating encounter happened. Emergency responders took the victims to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition according to the King County Sheriff’s Office. Black Diamond Road, near the North Holm Road junction, was closed for hours as investigators went to work piecing together what caused this fatal wreck Sunday evening. Read more on this news story involving the semi-truck accident.
Size Matters in Truck Accidents
Large truck accidents aren’t as common as passenger vehicle crashes, but the severity of injuries and likelihood of death is higher.
The causes of vehicle and truck crashes have some similarities. However, collisions with semis are more likely to be fatal and cause graver injuries than crashes between passenger vehicles. That’s understandable as most large trucks are five to six times heavier than passenger vehicles.
Another size-dependent factor for large trucks is that it takes twice as much time and distance to safely stop. Aggressive or negligent driving with a larger vehicle can result in far more catastrophic demise purely due to the physics of size and weight against smaller objects.
As in other types of crashes, speed usually plays a primary factor in why the driver lost control of their rig in the first place. In almost half of the crashes in a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, failure to adjust speed in curves on the road played a significant role in causing the wreck. Centrifugal force causes the truck to lean away from the direction of the curve. This motion can result in a “rollover”—the force lifting the wheels off the road, with the shifting weight turning the vehicle onto its side or completely on top of itself. Large trucks, like semis with trailers, are particularly vulnerable because of the higher center of gravity and often unstable weight distribution in loads they are carrying.
Whether in a passenger vehicle or a large truck, is definitely driver error. It is the primary reason drivers tend to misjudge the sharpness of a turn, drifting off the road or across the center line. Reaction to events caused by speed can lead to counter-steering to correct dangerously close encounters with other vehicles. “Near misses” could have had devastating consequences with just a second to spare in some cases.
This same study also noted that a driver’s lack of attention, including falling asleep at the wheel or distracted driving, are major contributors in truck rollover crashes. These factors are also exactly the same, regardless of what kind of vehicle, in other crashes. Errors in controlling the truck, like poor steering and overcorrection, are the third primary factor that can lead up to a large truck rollover.
These primary causes can be independent of each other but usually aren’t. Speeding may lead a driver to over-correct themselves on a winding road, which could lead to turning too sharply and losing balance with their load.
Commercial truck drivers require special training and licensing to prepare them for any number of situations that could lead up to a rollover or other roadway wrecks. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3256782/
Other Causes of Truck Accidents
The Department of Transportation also noted several additional reasons for large truck crashes. Some of which include:
- Loss of control of the truck after driving due to some event like a tire blowout
• Disabling or non-disabling vehicle failure – engine problem or hood flew up
• Another motor vehicle encroaching on the truck ‘s lane
• Poor road conditions due to poor road maintenance or weather
• Traveling too fast for road conditions
• Shifting cargo
• Lane drifting – either truck or passenger vehicle
• Driving off the edge of the road
• Improper truck maneuvering during events (turns and passing through intersections)
• Coming upon a stopped vehicle
• Finding objects on the highway
• Driver fatigue
Lack of Attention
In rural areas across the Northwest, foliage and trees can skew the upcoming visibility on roadways and commutes. The terrain can prove challenging for inexperienced drivers if one is not familiar with the area. Failure to pay attention to upcoming bends and curves can also prove disastrous, not only for large trucks but for other vehicles.
That’s why it is critical to manage distractions, like cell phones or disrupting activities when traversing even familiar areas. Distracted driving can delay important vehicle operations, like adjusting speed and braking, that could contribute to the possibility of a rollover, or in the very least, a conflict in sharing the road with other vehicles.
Control of Your Vehicle
Road safety is a national concern because of the alarming numbers of needless fatalities and injuries from vehicle crashes and rollovers. In 2015, there were an estimated 35,200 deaths from road crashes in the United States; that’s a 7.7% increase from the 2014 fatalities. This increase some attribute to more people driving, job growth, lower fuel prices, and so on. But, when it comes right down to it, driver error contributed in some way to each of these unfortunate losses.
Manufacturers have equipped all 2012 and newer passenger vehicles with an Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system. The ESC system helps improve the vehicle stability by reducing the loss of traction or skidding. However, overcorrection or over-steering caused by sudden events or obstructions on the roads cannot be detected and automatically corrected by the ESC system. And in the case of semi trucks, driver characteristics, like focus and sticking to the speed limits, play a greater factor in controlling the truck during drives with bends and curves. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0386111216300851#bbb0015
Our Auto Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers Are Here to Help You
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a rollover collision, or any other type of vehicle crash, call Fielding Law Group today. While some crashes are truly an accident, unfortunately, others are caused by negligence, in one form or another. In these type of crashes, either the driver, their company, or the insurance company should be held liable for victims’ injuries and damages that resulted from the crash.
At Fielding Law Group, we provide you with a free consultation to determine the extent of these damages and create a game plan to settle your case. You may not be familiar with the tactics insurance companies use to undervalue potential claims–but we are! Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys will help you recover the compensation and settlement you deserve and are entitled to. Remember: Don’t let an accident wreck YOU!
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