A passenger car and a semi-trailer were recently in a collision on Interstate 15 in North Salt Lake. According to a Utah Highway Patrol officer, the accident occurred when the drivers of the car and the semi-trailer tried to avoid hitting a third vehicle with a blown tire. While both drivers averted an accident with the third car, they ended up hitting each other in the process.
The driver of the truck suffered minor injuries, which were treated at a local hospital, and the passenger car's driver did not receive any injuries that needed medical attention.
Common Semi-Truck Accidents
In many cases, commercial truck accidents are actually caused by the drivers of passenger vehicles - in part because they don't realize the significant differences between their cars and the trucks that they share the roads with. Some of the major differences that drivers must keep in mind include:
- The longer distance it takes for trucks to stop, which is almost three times the stopping distance for cars
- The swaying motion of tankers, which can make it difficult for drivers to maneuver their trucks
- The fact that many trucks are not equipped to prevent underride accidents, which occur when a car crashes into a truck's trailer. (These kinds of accidents are particularly deadly for those who drive passenger cars - only two percent of car drivers survive underride accidents.)
As a result of not understanding the power of trucks, some passenger vehicle drivers may cause accidents by making mistakes such as driving in a truck's blind spot, quickly changing lanes in front of a truck or blocking a truck that is changing lanes or merging into traffic.
In contrast, many truck accidents may also be caused by mistakes made by truckers. In some cases, these accidents may result from a lack of training and knowledge about truck safety and defensive driving. Trucking accidents are also caused when truckers try to meet the unrealistic speed and hours requirements of their employers. Studies show a fatigued driver can be as dangerous as an intoxicated driver, which may lead to dangerous accidents and severe injuries suffered by others involved in the crash.
No matter what the cause, the impact of being in an accident with a truck can be devastating. Passenger car drivers involved in these kinds of accidents may become paralyzed, disfigured or even die from their injuries.
It is important to all drivers to pay attention to other vehicles on the road and employ safety tactics to avoid accidents and reduce the chance of an injury. When and accident does occur, speak to a personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal rights and options.