Fatal Truck Accident: Woman Hits Parked Semi Trailer
A Puyallup woman was driving a Volkswagen GTI when she hit the back of a semi-truck trailer at full speed, without braking, as he was parked on the side of the road in the gore point. Washington State Patrol said it was unclear what caused her to crash near the Parkland exit, on Highway 512 at 2:30am. The 30 yr-old single mother died in the collision. The truck driver had pulled over to check his GPS and was unharmed.
A WSDOT incident truck responded to the scene of the accident to assist with directing traffic away from the wreck when another vehicle, traveling at a very high rate of speed, crashed into the parked Department of Transportation truck. The DOT employee was not in the vehicle at the time of impact. She saw the car coming towards the first responders and jumped over the barricade to safety. The passenger in that speeding vehicle suffered a fractured femur and was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. The 21 yr-old driver was arrested for vehicular assault and is also suspected of driving under the influence. View original article here.
In the horrific details of two separate accidents on the same day and in the same location, there is a lone semi-truck driver who is probably wondering what happened! He pulled over to check his coordinates on a virtual map and probably with a trailer full of goods that needed to be delivered to a set location. Consumers and companies depend on millions of drivers, like him, that work tirelessly around the clock, covering millions of miles every year, to deliver the goods we all rely on. Yet, like the average motorists, semi-trucks and their drivers are not immune to the hazards of the road.
Why So Many Semi-Trucks On the Road?
The US economy heavily relies on the trucking industry, with its’ almost 1.9 million semi-trucks, and 3.2 million drivers, on the road, at any given moment during the day. They are transporting an estimated 5.6 million semi-trailers, registered for use in the US–that are filled with every imaginable consumer good known to man—to stores and warehouses near you.
Add that to the millions of vehicles also on the road every day, and it comes as no surprise that there are over 400,000 semi truck accidents every year. What is startling, though, is that over 80 percent of those accidents were caused by passenger vehicles. Semi-trucks are generally safer than any cars on the road, and get into fewer accidents overall. Read here for more information on how to drive safely around trucks.
By law, the maximum weight allowed over 18 wheels is 80,000 pounds. Considering the average car weighs 5,000lbs, in comparison to a loaded semi-truck, that means the truck is over 15 times heavier than the car. Due to the sheer weight and force, that explains why any collision between a car and large semi-truck can be so deadly.
Related Article: 10 things you didn’t know about semi trucks.
What Can You Do To Be Safe & Prevent a Semi Truck Accident?
Here are a few things to keep in mind when sharing the road with these mammoth-sized trucks:
- Avoid Blind Spots–Many trailers have a sign on the back doors that say something like “Caution: If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you.” That’s a huge reminder that you are in the blind spot. Cars are 2.7 times more likely to rear-end a semi-truck than, than vice versa—mostly due to being in those blind spots and poor visibility.
- Pass Trucks with Caution–Always pass a truck on the left side, noting their mirrors. Keep a constant speed, while checking the truck mirrors to make sure the driver sees you.
- Don’t Linger around the Truck–Give them space and ensure better visibility for your vehicle as well. You don’t want to be keeping pace with a semi-truck if they lose tire shreds, have high winds lift the trailer, or the truck brakes suddenly.
- Don’t Cut Trucks Off—Leave plenty of room between you and the front of the truck. It’s an exercise in physics—large masses simply cannot stop as fast as smaller objects. Yes. It takes a semi-truck almost twice as long to stop as a car. Warning: DO NOT test this theory!
- Allow Space Between the Trailer and Curb–You may have noticed truck drivers swing wide as they turn right. That’s so the trailer clears the curb without going onto the sidewalk or hitting posts. Keep your distance because you don’t want to get hit or trapped between the trailer and a curb.
- Be Patient—Most truckers drive for a living and are fairly predictable on the road. Some areas have lower speed limits for large trucks. Avoid tailgating and making erratic moves around trucks.
- Be Courteous at night by dimming your bright lights around trucks. Bright lights can reflect in the mirrors and blind the driver.
- Signal Sooner—it goes back to that physics lesson. A truck takes longer to slow down and stop, so signal early when changing lanes, stopping, or turning in front of a truck. Courtesy=Safety.
- Merge with Caution—avoid merging in front of a semi-truck that is already in motion. They may need to stop or slow down. If a truck passes you, decelerate slightly to minimize passing time.
- Pay ATTENTION—distracted drivers are dangerous drivers! Some of these distractions are cell phones, daydreaming, reaching for an object, and rubbernecking. https://greatcdltraining.com/blog/share-the-road
Share the Road
Studies show that semi truck accidents may not be as prevalent as other motor vehicle mishaps, but they can be just as deadly. “Share the Road” started as a catchy safety slogan used to remind everyone with tires to look out for each other. Every driver can benefit from exercising more caution and courtesy on the road. We innately depend on other drivers having good judgment and being alert to the motorists and hazards around them, and especially mindful of large trucks and trailers. Our country heavily relies on large truck transportation for almost every good and commodity consumed. Remember to give them some room–10-4, good buddy! https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/data-and-statistics/large-truck-and-bus-crash-facts-2015
If you or some you love has been injured in a car or semi-truck accident, don’t hesitate to contact Fielding Law Group today for help.
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