Surviving a collision with a large commercial motor vehicle can be as random as the initial circumstances that set the traffic accident in motion to start with. One could say that it is simply a “role of the dice” whether or not an victim of an automobile or motorcycle wreck will make it to the hospital, much less recover from his or her injuries sufficiently to live a long and fulfilling life.
Looking as we do at the events leading up to a serious injury accident or fatal traffic collision, it is no mere coincidence that vehicle mass, or weight, plays a significant part in whether or not a driver or other occupants will sustain mild or critical injuries. Being involved in a highway accident between a relatively small passenger car, minivan or sport utility vehicle and a much larger commercial motor vehicle is a case in point.
As Maryland personal injury attorneys, we know that a significant percentage of injuries are sustained by drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles that are hit by large trucks, such as semi tractor-trailers, large box trucks, commercial delivery vehicles and even heavier utility trucks. It all goes back to physics, but the important thing to remember is that the danger exists. Knowing that a roadway incident involving a larger motor vehicle, drivers should always be on the alert when traveling in traffic alongside one of these vehicles or when approaching an oncoming truck on an undivided road.
Avoiding an accident in the first place is the best way to stay out of the hospital. And, it’s never a mistake to drive defensively, if not for yourself, but for your passengers and the family members who may rely on you. We mention this today due to the two news stories that caught our eye regarding two different traffic accidents in which the drivers of smaller vehicles died as a result of a crash with a larger commercial truck.
In the latest accident, an elderly woman died when her car was struck head-on by a Chevrolet C5500 heavy-duty truck that crossed the centerline in front of her along a stretch of Falls Rd. in Sparks, MD. According to police, the accident occurred on a Wednesday evening as the 69-year-old Reisterstown resident was driving her ’09 Subaru Forrester north through town.
Based on news reports, the Chevy truck was pulling a tree chipper when for some reason the vehicle began to leave the roadway and then hit a number of large rocks off to one side of the road. The 44-year-old truck driver apparently over-corrected and crossed back onto Falls Rd. and into the oncoming lane where it ran head-on into the Suburu, which overturned. Police stated that the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
In another crash, a 21-year-old junior from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, was killed when his pickup truck apparently rolled down an embankment near an I-78 offramp and was subsequently struck by an 18-wheeler. The accident happened on a Friday morning in Pennsylvania. News articles indicated that the victim may have been sleeping in his pickup truck at a gas station near the interstate. Police suggested that the vehicle, which apparently was not in Park, may have rolled forward off the gas station property and onto the offramp. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency rescue personnel.
Reisterstown Woman Killed in Wednesday Night Crash, Patch.com, August 9, 2012
UPDATE: Naval Academy Midshipman Dies in Car Crash, Patch.com, August 4, 2012