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Crashes involving large seized vehicles such as trucks or RVs and campers are inherently more dangerous for a number of reasons. Trucks, especially semi-trucks or 18-wheelers are heavier and larger than standard passenger vehicles, resulting in more serious accidents when they are involved in crashes. Additionally, the conditions that many truck drivers operate under force them to drive extreme distances, resulting in fatigue. Finally, shipping trucks are also potentially carrying hazardous cargo, complicating truck crashes and accidents. While many people intuitively understand the greater risks involved in truck accidents, they may not know that according to the statistical analysis organization Policy Advice, truck accidents have increased by 52% since 2009, and 74% of all fatal passenger vehicle accidents include a large truck. A recent news article discussed a local fatal truck crash.

According to the news article about a recent local truck crash, the accident occurred in the evening around 8:26 p.m. on Thursday, September 8, when an RV and a tractor-trailer collided on Interstate 66. A preliminary investigation by the Virginia State Police has resulted in the arrest of the RV driver, a 25-year-old male from Houston, on charges of reckless driving and driving without a license. The authorities have further stated that the crash reportedly caused the RV to slide down an embankment into several trees after driving off the road and hitting a guardrail. Two passengers in the RV died at the scene, with an additional passenger suffering life-threatening injuries, and the driver and four other passengers suffering minor injuries. It is reported that none of the passengers in the RV were reportedly wearing seatbelts. The driver of the tractor-trailer was also transported to the hospital for treatment for minor injuries sustained in the crash. The police have stated that there is an active investigation into the accident.

Does Negligence on My Part Affect My Maryland Case?

Contributory Negligence is a legal concept that potentially prevents plaintiffs in an accident case from receiving recovery for injuries resulting from a crash if their negligence contributed to the accident to any degree. Essentially, even if the negligence of the operator of another vehicle is largely responsible for the accident, if the plaintiff was even a little negligent, it is possible they will not be able to recover compensation. In Maryland, contributory negligence is interpreted very broadly, allowing minor negligence by the plaintiff in personal injury cases to defeat even very strong claims.

In today’s society, our busy roads are shared with a wide range of vehicles, in addition to pedestrians. It’s important for every road user to be mindful of others who we share the road with. This includes large semi-trucks sharing the road with bicyclists, which can be dangerous considering the big gap in size between the two vehicles. Truck drivers may have a harder time seeing smaller vehicles like bicycles, and should take great precaution to ensure that their line of vision is clear before proceeding. Bicyclists must ensure that they are also very diligent and aware of their surroundings. Accidents happen everyday, so it’s important that we are all actively paying attention to those around us who we share the road with.

In a recent news report from a Brooklyn accident, a 44-year-old bicyclist was tragically killed in a collision with a tractor-trailer. According to the article, the driver of the tractor-trailer was turning when the bicyclist, who was in a crosswalk, was struck by the tractor-trailer, and dragged under the truck. The bicyclist suffered severe head trauma and later died at a local hospital. The tractor-trailer driver did not immediately face charges.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IHS), the most serious injuries involving Bicyclists are to the head, highlighting the importance of wearing properly fitted helmets. IHS reported that a total of 932 bicyclists were killed in crashes involving motor vehicles in 2020. Further, IHS reported that 57 percent of bicyclists killed in 2020 were not wearing helmets, and that 79 percent of bicyclists were killed in urban areas.

There’s no denying that at any moment, the unexpected can happen with a vehicle you are driving. A flat tire, or a car that suddenly stops and becomes undrivable with little to no warning. On some occasions, the warning signs of a mechanical issue happen days, weeks, or even months before, but unfortunately, some drivers may choose to ignore those warning signs. Routinely checking your vehicle to ensure that everything is working properly is extremely important, as it can prevent dangerous mechanical issues from happening suddenly while you’re driving, and it could save you more money instead of having to pay for even more expensive vehicle repairs later on.

When a mechanical car issue happens suddenly while you are driving on the road and if your vehicle becomes undrivable, it can be important to call a tow truck to remove a vehicle from the road. Some drivers fail to do so, choosing to leave their vehicles abandoned on the road, which can be dangerous for all drivers. When you’re driving on a road or highway, it can be a bit of a surprise if you find a vehicle left unattended that you suddenly have to maneuver around.

A recent news article revealed the dangers of abandoned vehicles left on the road. According to the news article, charges have been filed against a man who is accused of leaving his tow truck on the interstate in North Dakota due to a later crash involving the abandoned vehicle. The 43-year-old-man has been charged with negligent homicide in the death of a 43-year-old woman, in addition to reckless endangerment, driving under suspension and driving without liability insurance. The driver of the tow truck experienced a mechanical issue and stopped in the right lane of the interstate. He then proceeded to get a ride from someone else and left his tow truck where it had stopped. Unfortunately, the 43-year-old woman crashed into the tow truck, and the impact killed her. In addition, her two children were severely injured in the crash.

Throughout the country, truck companies are increasingly exploring the use of autonomous trucks in order to increase profits and decrease reliance on drivers. As a result, autonomous truck accidents in Maryland will likely become more common as a greater number of these vehicles hit the road. As autonomous truck accidents in Maryland increase, the fault of drivers in such accidents will also begin to evolve. The addition of autonomous driving software to trucks fundamentally changes the role and concept of the driver. While autonomous trucks currently often have safety drivers, people in the cab monitoring the artificial intelligence driving the truck autonomously, leading autonomous truck development companies have increasingly used completely driverless trucks on the roads. In December of 2021, a truck completed an 80-mile trip in Arizona on public roads.

Given the increasing risk of being involved in an autonomous truck accident, drivers should be aware that this could fundamentally impact how fault is determined in Maryland truck accidents. Currently, Maryland uses contributory negligence in truck accident cases, which can dramatically impact a victim’s recovery if they are at fault. The introduction of autonomous trucks to the road may change that process. A recent news article discussed an autonomous truck accident that occurred in April 2022.

According to the news article, the accident occurred when an autonomous truck suddenly veered left, cutting across the I-10 highway and smashing into a concrete barricade. At the time, there was a driver and an engineer on board, and the company blamed human error. However, regulatory disclosures and internal documents reveal that there may have been issues with the autonomous software operating the vehicle at the time. An internal report on the incident, states that the truck veered suddenly because the person operating the vehicle did not properly reboot the system before engaging the autonomous driving function, causing it to execute an outdated command. In this case, the truck engaged in a left-turn command that had been made 2 ½ minutes prior, resulting in the accident.

Every year, about two percent of motor vehicle collision deaths are attributed to bicyclists. These bicyclists often share the road with larger vehicles, including heavy trucks like commercial trucks and dump trucks. Despite the relative size of these vehicles on the road, heavy truck drivers still owe bicyclists all the care and consideration when driving that they owe other, larger forms of transportation like passenger cars. Even so, truck drivers often forget to look for smaller vehicles and bicycles when sharing the road. This can be particularly devastating in the event of a collision because of the relative sizes of vehicles and the protections they afford. If this lack of care causes an accident, it may lead to a personal injury lawsuit.

According to a recent report, a bicyclist died of crash-related injuries 10 hours after they were struck by a dump truck driver. Witnesses to the scene say the driver and bicyclist were traveling side by side when the truck took a left, hitting the bicyclist. One witness said the truck driver wasn’t looking before turning, leading to the bicyclist’s death. The accident remains under investigation, and police have not determined who is liable for the accident.

Responsible drivers owe each other the bare minimum of looking before making a turn. Bike lanes often run next to traffic, meaning drivers should be aware of the possibility of a bicyclist riding next to them, especially when trying to turn. In Maryland, drivers, including truck drivers, are responsible for using reasonable care when operating a vehicle, including truck drivers. When truck drivers breach this duty of care, the victim or the victim’s family could bring a personal injury claim.

Sharing the road with big trucks requires all drivers to take caution, and requires that drivers pay close attention to the road and their surroundings to keep everyone safe. Tractor-trailer drivers are required to have a special license and typically spend many hours on the road. To the surprise of many, while operating heavy vehicles, there have been numerous occasions where truck drivers are cited for driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. According to the National Drunk Driving statistics shared by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, in 2019, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities made up 32.1 percent of total fatalities in the state of Maryland.

A commercial motor vehicle means a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used to transport passengers or cargo and includes any combination vehicles with a gross combination weight of 26,001 or more pounds, as well as any vehicle which is designed to transport 15 or more passengers, including the driver. A commercial motor vehicle can also include a vehicle of any size that transports hazardous materials, which require placarding.

In a recent news article, a driver of a tractor-trailer was criminally charged ten days after a deadly crash that resulted in the death of four individuals in Georgia. A tractor-trailer struck another vehicle in a southbound lane, and then struck a second vehicle. Then the tractor-trailer traveled through the center median into the northbound lane. The tractor-trailer was struck by a Nissan, Honda, and another tractor-trailer before coming to a final stop. Two individuals were found dead at the scene, and these two individuals were passengers in the trailer-tractor of the now-criminally charged driver. The accident caused a total of 12 people to be taken to a hospital for treatment. Two additional individuals later died from their injuries as a result of the accident. The driver of the tractor-trailer was also taken to the hospital, and later arrested and charged with misdemeanors. His charges include an open container violation, following too closely, improper lane change, DUI, and four counts of homicide by vehicle.

Each year, three million people are injured in auto accidents according to the CDC. Auto accidents involving pick-up trucks, however, may be particularly devastating for all parties involved. Pickup trucks are distinct in size, shape, and design, and generally have a separate frame and an open box. These trucks tend to have tall hoods and large blind spots and can be deadly for pedestrians and drivers of smaller vehicles when accidents occur. According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, within the light trucks category, SUVs and pickup trucks are the vehicles most likely to be involved in roller crashes. Rollover crashes are a specific type of vehicle crash in which a vehicle tips over onto its side or roof.

Are Larger Vehicles More Dangerous to Pedestrians?

Consumer Report testing has found that bigger vehicles in general have a harder time avoiding crashes. Another Consumer Report analysis showed that the hood height of passenger trucks has increased by an average of at least 11 percent since 2000 and that new pickups grew 24 percent heavier on average from 2000 to 2018. Consumer report data shows that drivers have poorer front sight lines, creating a blind spot that can hide a pedestrian or smaller car right in front – and these alarming developments may lead to more accidents and injuries.

As the weather warms up, more people are heading outdoors to enjoy the sunshine and sunny skies. Among various outdoor things people enjoy outdoors during the warmer months, riding utility terrain vehicles (UTVs) or dirt bikes is a common activity. UTVs, however, may not be as safe as they seem—and can pose significant dangers to drivers and passengers alike if they are used improperly.

According to a recent news report, a man driving a UTV was killed when a dump truck backed into him. Local troopers reported that the dump truck was traveling up a hill when it was no longer able to continue uphill and backed into the UTV that was driving behind it. The dump truck pushed the UTV off the left side of the road, where it overturned and the dump truck came to a rest on top of it. The driver of the UTV was pronounced dead on the scene, but the driver of the dump truck was not injured in the crash. The accident remains under investigation by local authorities.

What Are the Risks of Driving a UTV?

Although UTVs include seat belts and a roll cage, they can still pose significant risks to those who drive them and their passengers. Most accidents involve drinking and driving, inexperienced operators, and not driving UTVs as they were intended by failing to use safety equipment or speeding. Outside of driver error, however, UTVs carry many other risks. They often do not have the metal protective exterior of a full car and can be more difficult for some drivers to see on the road. Without a helmet, multi-point harness, or proper eye protection, drivers are often vulnerable to significant injuries if an accident takes place. In addition, UTVs carry a higher risk for rollover than other similar vehicles because its weight and center of gravity do not allow it to shift to balance on corners. Even with a better suspension than similar types of vehicles, UTVs are often at risk of rolling over if the driver turns a corner too quickly or is not careful on bumpy terrain.

Truck accidents are often devastating when compared to accidents that take place between just passenger vehicles. This is often because when a truck is involved in an accident, it is usually larger in size, heavier in weight, and harder to control by the truck driver when compared to a passenger vehicle. This often results in an increased chance of property damage, significant injuries, or death to those involved.

According to a recent news report, an accident involving a U-Haul truck and a state department of transportation safety vehicle resulted in a serious accident. The state transportation safety vehicle was present on the road at the time to keep workers working on construction nearby safe. Based on an initial investigation, local authorities believe that the driver of the U-Haul was distracted in the moments before it crashed into a safety vehicle. As the accident remains under investigation, it remains unclear whether anyone was injured in the accident or if any charges will be filed.

Who should I consider as defendants in a truck accident case?

Following a truck accident, it can often be a confusing and complicated situation figuring out who exactly to bring a personal injury lawsuit against. Although your first instinct may be to sue the truck driver as an individual, it may actually be more strategic to also sue the company that employed the truck driver or even the manufacturer of the vehicle itself. Who you bring suit against ultimately depends on specific circumstances surrounding your collision and how it took place. Sometimes, potential plaintiffs are advised to sue more than just the truck driver as an individual, because the truck driver may not have much to offer the potential plaintiffs in terms of compensation. Other times, bringing the truck company that employs the truck driver is essential to the case because the company has agreed to indemnify, or be responsible for, the truck driver’s actions.

Because trucks are often the largest and heaviest vehicle on the road, they are also frequently involved in devastating accidents. If you are the driver of a smaller passenger vehicle, or even an SUV, you may have actively attempted to avoid or pass trucks on the road for fear of getting into an unexpected accident. These fears are unsurprising. After all, trucks are involved in thousands of accidents that result in significant injuries and fatalities each year for a variety of reasons.

According to a recent local news report, a man died after a tractor-trailer accident. Troopers on the scene reported that the driver of the tractor-trailer ran a red light and turned into an intersection, which caused him to crash into two vehicles that had the right of way. One of the vehicles that was struck, a Jeep, was hit on its right fender after it swerved but was able to get out of the way. The second vehicle, a Chrysler, was struck on the left side and swung off the side of the road. The driver of the Chrysler was transported to a local hospital, where he died from his injuries. The accident is still being looked into by local authorities and Maryland State Police Crash Team investigators.

Because trucks are so heavy and take up so much space, many people may not be adequately trained to properly drive or operate them. Truck drivers have to operate their vehicles with additional care, especially because trucks can often take up more space, move at faster speeds, and require the control and dexterity of an experienced driver to avoid an accident or tipping over when turning. Truck drivers also have to be good at ascertaining risk when exiting shopping centers or parking lots, since it takes longer for the entire length of the vehicle to make it onto the road and join the front of the truck. If timed incorrectly at a busy intersection, this could cause a major pile-up.

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