There are few more frightening images than that of sitting in traffic that has come to a complete halt on an interstate highway, and seeing a semi truck rapidly approaching in the rearview mirror. This horrifying scenario plays out all too frequently on the nation's highways and this and other truck accidents occur daily with barely an eyebrow raised.
Ten people, every day. That's how many people die every day in truck crashes. Except in cases like last week's truck accident involving Tracy Morgan, we rarely even hear about these crashes.
The deadly truck accident that occurred Saturday is eerily similar to a crash we discussed a few weeks ago on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. In that truck accident, a driver crashed into stopped traffic and caused a car to catch fire and two people died. Saturday night, a truck driver on the New Jersey turnpike also failed to stop for slowed traffic. He swerved but still crashed into limo carrying comedian Tracy Morgan.
When you are driving along the highway near Chambersburg, say U.S.30 or I-81, and you are traveling next to a semi truck, you may not even give it a second thought. After all, when driving those roads for any distance, you would likely see dozens, if not hundreds of tractor-trailers.
Few accidents are more frightening to the average driver than those that occur during a traffic slow down on an interstate highway. Many things can cause a car or truck accident, but those involving significant speed differentials between vehicles or structures can be the deadliest. The combined approach speed is why head-on crashes frequently cause fatalities.
The size disparity between commercial trucks and other vehicles on the roadway is rather large. As a result, truck accidents can be especially devastating for the vehicle the truck collides with, while the truck driver may walk away unscathed. This is even more true for pedestrians. Because of this great potential for harm, truck drivers must exercise a greater degree of care than other drivers to ensure that their actions do not result in an accident that causes serious injury or even death.
All motorists should take care on the road not only to protect themselves, but to keep others safe as well. Truckers especially should exercise extreme caution when driving as the massive size of their vehicles can cause devastating wrecks that damage property and severe injuries that cripple individuals. Those who are involved in truck accidents often face a long, hard road to physical, emotional and financial recovery.
While Pennsylvania remains in winter's grip, drivers must take precautions to ensure their safety as well as the safety of those around them. Drivers of large vehicles, including semi-trucks, must be aware of their inability to stop quickly on slick roads, and should therefore drive slowly to avoid negligence and to prevent accidents. Failing to do so can cause truck accidents that have life-altering ramification for other motorists.
This winter has been brutal, complete with frigid temperatures and excessive amounts of snow. When roads get nasty, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation seeks to quickly clear them. Pennsylvanians appreciate the hard work these individuals put in, but the increased presence of salt trucks can pose dangers to other motorists.
A tractor-trailer crushed a car at an eastern Pennsylvania toll booth so completely that it was not apparent at first that there even was a second vehicle. But there was, and a person inside was killed in this truck accident.