Taking into account the number and variety of commercial vehicles on the road today, it makes one wonder if there aren’t more large trucks than passenger cars out there. With a variety of delivery vehicles — including UPS, FedEx, U.S. Postal vans and large cross-country 18-wheelers, plus numerous box trucks carrying anything from car parts and home goods to soft drinks and floral arrangements — Maryland motorists are in constant proximity to these larger commercial trucks.
As Baltimore automobile, truck and motorcycle accident attorneys, as well as Washington, D.C., personal injury lawyers, we can only hope that professional drivers (those carrying a commercial driver’s license) are always vigilant and aware of other, smaller vehicles on the road. Of course, as much as anyone wishes that car and truck accidents would not occur, they do happen with great frequency, sometimes with fatal results.
Because of the size and weight disparity between passenger cars and commercial trucks, accidents between these two groups of vehicles can be more severe — at least for the occupants of the smaller vehicle — than in accidents between two sedans, minivans or sport utility vehicles (SUVs).
Even more diminutive commercial trucks can pose a real danger to drivers and passengers of light vehicles. Though not as large as a semi tractor-trailer rig, a commercial dump truck when fully loaded can have a substantial weight advantage over a smaller motor vehicle. In the case of a collision, a dump truck can sometimes crush a sedan or economy car, depending of course on the speed, road conditions and other accident-related factors.
Not long ago two men escaped what could have been a fatal trucking-related wreck while traveling along a downhill stretch of Rte 3 in Bowie, MD. According to news reports, the traffic accident occurred on a Thursday around noontime in the southbound lanes of Rte 3 not far from Forest Dr. when a dump truck apparently clipped the rear corner of a car traveling next to it, causing the driver of the smaller auto to lose control.
Based on the accident report from the Maryland State Police, the truck driver was operating his vehicle in the left lane when he attempted to change lanes into the adjoining right-hand lane. In the process, the truck hit the left rear panel of a Chevrolet passenger car carrying two men. The force of the impact caused the Chevy to spin into the path of the truck, which then hit the car a second time, apparently throwing it to the left side of the road.
Following the second impact, the car reportedly flipped over in front of the dump truck then left the roadway, striking a guardrail on the left-hand side of the road. The car flipped over the railing and rolled into a nearby ravine, landing on its roof. Emergency responders arriving on the scene apparently had to cut the two victims out of the severely damaged vehicle in which they were trapped for a time.
Based on reports, the two unnamed men survived the collision with non-life-threatening injuries if only because they were wearing their seatbelts. Police reports indicate that the two men were transported to Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly, MD.
Police cited the driver of the dump truck for failure to control speed in order to avoid the collision, as well as following another motor vehicle too closely. The driver, who also was not identified, reportedly received no serious injuries.
Dump truck crash in Bowie injures two men, Gazette.net, August 4, 2011