Articles Posted in Multiple-truck Accidents

Earlier this week, two tractor trailers got into an accident in one of the westbound lanes of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. According to a report by the Baltimore Sun, the two trucks were “wedged” into one another, although luckily both trucks remained upright throughout the incident.

Traffic was delayed for about three hours while emergency crews cleared the bridge of the two trucks. A team was also called out to clean up some spilled fuel from one of the trucks. One of the truck drivers was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, and he is expected to recover.

Shortly before the accident officials instituted a wind restriction on the bridge due to winds that were gusting up to almost 50 mile per hour. The restriction was aimed at semi-trucks and tractor-trailers without heavy loads, because the wind could potentially blow the large, lightweight vehicles into guard rails or out of their lane of travel. It is unknown whether either of the trucks involved in the accident were subject to the restriction; however, at the time of the articles publication, authorities were still investigating the accident.

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Drivers traveling on Interstate 95 near the Baltimore Beltway last week may have encountered serious traffic delays in the area just south of Interstate 695, when lanes were closed due to a tractor-trailer crashing and erupting into flames.

Maryland State Police say the blaze started around three in the morning last Tuesday, after a tractor-trailer hit a disabled tow truck, which was being towed away by a second tow truck. Luckily, the driver of the tractor-trailer driver was able to get out of his vehicle before it became engulfed in flames, and no injuries were reported.

A cleanup crew from the Maryland Department of Environment Hazardous Materials responded to the scene in order to clean up some gas that had spilled on the highway. An investigation into the collision is ongoing.

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Unlike traffic accidents involving passenger cars, collisions between a cars and pedestrians, and motorcycle-related roadway crashes, trucking accidents can be and many times are serious events affecting multiple vehicles and numerous individuals. Here in the Baltimore area, as well as throughout Maryland and in the Washington, D.C., area, commercial truck drivers are held to higher standards than the average motorist.

As a Maryland personal injury law firm, our attorneys know the law as it applies to traffic accidents caused by drivers of commercial vehicles. With specific standards required of truckers and the companied for which they work, any personal injury lawyer who handles cases involving these kinds of large-vehicle crashes must fully understand both state and federal regulations covering commercial vehicles. Any truck driver or commercial trucking company that is found to be in violation of Maryland’s commercial vehicle laws, could possibly be held responsible if any one or a number of those rules has been violated while the vehicle in question is out on the road.

It’s quite true that trucking accidents are an unfortunate reality in our modern world; these is really no avoiding these vehicles as passenger car drivers and other motorists must inevitably share the road with extremely large and massive vehicles. It’s no surprise, then, that thousands of innocent victims killed, injured or maimed in accident involving collisions with semi tractor-trailer rigs and other large commercial motor vehicles.

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Hard as it may be to reconcile at time, we all put our lives on the line each and every time we step out of homes and into a motor vehicle to travel to work, school or even to the grocery store. It’s not a pleasant thought, to be sure, but it is a reality: People are killed and injured every day across the state of Maryland, and throughout the U.S., doing simple day-to-day activities that none of us would think twice about. As Maryland personal injury lawyers, we have to concur that operating a motor vehicle can be intrinsically life-threatening, if only from a statistical standpoint.

Of all the many and varied causes of traffic collisions, a percentage of these are the result of a failure in some safety- or control-related vehicle component or system. Be it a fractured steering shaft, poorly cast suspension arm, improperly torqued bolt or other fastener, even a faulty safety belt, each of these items can result in a serious accident. Depending on the part, the vehicle’s speed at the time of the failure, and other factors, it’s not a stretch to say that a fatality or multiple fatalities could be in the cards as well.

As automobile, trucking and motorcycle accident attorneys, we understand that these are not uplifting subjects. But the fact remains, at least for experienced legal professionals like ourselves, the existence of a faulty or poorly designed vehicle part or component can be grounds for a products liability suit, especially if a person is hurt or killed as a result of the failure.

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Trucking-related accidents can be fatal to those people traveling in passenger cars who are unlucky enough to be involved in a crash with these heavy-weight motor vehicles. But as Baltimore auto injury lawyers, the legal staff at y firm knows that other commercial truck drivers are just as at risk as many other drivers of car, truck and motorcycles caught in a collision with a semi tractor-trailer, tank truck, municipal bus, or box truck. This is why we always advise caution when passing or driving near large commercial vehicles, especially at higher speeds on the expressway.

It’s a common problem that trucking accidents are frequently caused by driver fatigue. In fact, drowsiness on the part of truckers is one of the primary contributing factors linked to commercial trucking accidents. As motorists, we tend all to rely on the fact that truck drivers are professionals, and as such they are required by law to follow various state and federal safety regulations specifically written to protect the rest of us. Sadly, not every trucker or trucking company obeys the laws laid out for them.

Thousands of innocent people, mostly drivers and passengers in private automobiles, sport utility vehicles and minivans are hurt in collisions caused in full or in part by the driver of a tractor-trailer or commercial delivery vehicle. Whether the negligent trucker is operating a car hauler, tanker truck, flatbed tractor-trailer, commercial dump truck, box trucks or any of the numerous other commercial motor vehicles plying our state’s highways and city streets, the potential for personal injury is high.

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We won’t go into great detail here, but it is instructive to remind people that being involved in a traffic accident with a larger and more massive commercial vehicle can have a significant effect on the extent of one’s injuries following a roadway collision. As Maryland personal injury attorneys, I and my colleagues understand the law as it pertains to personal injury caused by a collision with an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer rig, commercial box truck, cement mixer or dump truck, even a city bus or airport shuttle.

How often do these types of accident occur? From our perspective, often enough to merit extreme caution when driving with one’s family along Maryland roadways, not to mention dense urban areas. Based on statistics compiled over the years, trucking accidents involving passenger cars can result in extensive, if not serious bodily injury to the automobile’s driver and occupants. Even large, so-called safer sport utility vehicles are not much of a match for a 20-ton tractor-trailer rig carrying a full load.

So what happens when truck meets truck on the highway? Unlike the mismatch between commercial vehicles and smaller autos, two trucks of near equal mass will likely suffer similar damage, depending on the circumstances. In these types of cases, the drivers and passengers in either vehicle could be at risk of bodily injury such as broken bones, cuts and abrasions, deep lacerations and internal injuries. Because these trucks would be equally matched, the results of a roadway collision can be quite spectacular.

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It seems that every time we turn around, there’s another large highway accident caused by a commercial truck driver. This is, of course, not an indictment of all professional truckers out there, many of whom are conscientious drivers who understand the enormity of their personal responsibility to handle these big rigs with care and safety. But, on the other hand, there is a percentage of 18-wheeler, box truck and commercial delivery truck operators who lack either the training or the concern for others on the roadways.

As Maryland commercial trucking accident attorneys and personal injury lawyers, it’s our job to help victims of highway traffic accidents and their families recover from severe and sometimes fatal car, truck and motorcycle wrecks. Nothing can shock a family to its core like a serious injury accident that sends a father or mother to the hospital.

Medical costs alone are difficult enough to manage these days, what with many people being out of work or just hanging on. Throw in the loss of wages due to a terrible car, or truck collision and you have a perfect storm of hospital bills and no, or greatly reduced family income to help pay for them.

While a number of trucking accidents can be attributed to mechanical problems, such as defective safety equipment, poorly maintained brakes, or badly worn tires, a greater percentage of tractor-trailer crashes stem from driver error. It’s not uncommon these days for even a professional truck driver to be distracted by his cellphone or some other device in the truck cab.

Whatever the reason, the carnage wrought by an out-of-control 18-wheeler can be widespread and deadly for occupants of nearby passenger cars. Broken bones, internal injuries, head and neck trauma, as well as other serious injuries can be life-threatening if the victim is not attended to in time.

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For many drivers and occupants of passenger cars, light trucks, SUVs and motorcycles, there is nothing quite as frightening as a traffic accident involving a 50,000-pound semi tractor-trailer rig. With 15-times the curb weight of an average sport utility vehicle, these large commercial vehicles can literally crush a passenger car during a high-speed highway collision.

Here in Baltimore, it’s not uncommon to see these huge vehicles mixing with motor vehicles of all sizes, not to mention scooters, bicycles and pedestrians on foot. The opportunity for a serious accident involving a commercial delivery truck, box truck or the aforementioned 18-wheel semi is ever-present. As Maryland personal injury attorneys, we fully understand how people become injured in trucking wrecks.

And, because of the shear size and mass of these large vehicles, we often read of fatal accidents involving Kenworths, Peterbilts, and Mack trucks. Being auto accident lawyers serving Maryland and Washington, D.C., residents, we have the training and legal skills to represent clients who have been injured in trucking accidents or have lost a loved one in such a highway wreck.

Earlier this month, a woman who was co-driving an 18-wheeler was tragically killed when the vehicle she was working on was hit by a commercial towing truck along a stretch of Interstate 70 near the Frederick County line. The crash occurred around noontime on a Monday, after the semi on which she worked pulled over on the shoulder of the interstate due to an overheating problem.

According to police reports, the female co-driver got out of the truck’s cab to make some adjustment on the outside of the vehicle as it was parked alongside I-70. Moments later, the semi was struck from behind by the flat-bed tow truck; the force of the crash reportedly threw the victim into a nearby guardrail.

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School bus accidents are a cause for great concern among parents and school officials alike. While the opportunity for serious injury is always present on the street, we would all prefer to believe that our children are safe anytime they leave the house. But as Maryland personal injury lawyers, we know that realistically no one can guarantee that kids will never be hurt while walking to school or while riding the bus.

No long ago, a traffic accident outside of Maryland opened up the discussion again regarding safety belts in school buses. Although the initial reaction whenever this kind of crash occurs is to do anything to lessen the extent of occupant injuries; and nobody can argue with people who say that even the prevention of one child’s death is worth the investment.

The particular rollover accident on I-81 that involved a school bus taking kids to summer camp. According to news reports, more than two dozen adults and children were hurt as a result when the bus crashed into a passenger vehicle and then overturned on a rural highway north of Maryland.

State police officials reported that the crash occurred when a Cadillac, driven by an elderly Hagerstown man, attempted to pass the school bus but failed to notice the oncoming traffic. Overcorrecting, 79-year-old Edward Shaffer steered back into the path of the bus, causing the wreck. The force of the collision caused the bus to roll over, and emergency rescue personnel were needed to free three of the youngsters who were pinned inside the wrecked commercial vehicle. The driver of the passenger car was also trapped until EMS workers could extricate him.

No surprise that the topic of school bus safety is an emotionally charged one, with multiple issues at stake, not to mention the health and safety of young passengers. But over the years it has become more and more obvious that most school systems either don’t have the money or the will to equip buses with safety belts; and a similar situation exists with local and state governments, which are not likely to mandate seatbelts any time soon.

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From the headlines these days, it sometimes may be forgotten that there are many qualified commercial truck drivers who take traffic safety very seriously. This should not come as a surprise, since most every trucker values his job and needs to keep it in order to support himself and his family. That said, there is also a small percentage of bad drivers on the road whose first thought may not be the safety and welfare of the driving public.

As Maryland personal injury lawyers and trucking accident attorneys, I and my colleagues know how easily an 18-wheeler can become a dangerous missile in the wrong hands. Even as a relatively slow-moving vehicle, these 30- to 40-ton behemoths can pose a huge danger on the road. This why we have laws such as the “hours-of-service” regulations (49 CFR Part 395) that put limits on when and how long a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver may operate his or her vehicle.

Whether you live or work in Cumberland, Hagerstown, Frederick or Washington, D.C., as a commuter you and your passengers are almost constantly exposed to potential injury from these tractor-trailer rigs and commercial delivery trucks.

With the advent of cellphones, many citizens are now reporting poor driving behavior and calling the police when they observe a truck driver operating his or her vehicle in an erratic or dangerous manner. More than one life has probably been saved thanks to concerned individuals out there.

Important too, because a traffic accident involving a commercial interstate hauler can result in serious injuries such as deep cuts and lacerations, broken ribs, fractured legs and arms, spinal cord injuries and closed-head trauma. In the worst cases, passenger car occupants have died because of the negligent actions of one person behind the wheel of a deadly machine.

According to news reports, at least one other driver observed a commercial truck being driven erratically prior to a multi-vehicle crash along a stretch of I-80. That driver said it was just a matter of time before the suspect trucker caused a major accident. Police reports indicate that numerous other truckers were talking by radio as they watched a driver for Webster Trucking apparently swerving all over the road. Most of the other truck drivers on the road that day said that they tried to avoid getting too close for fear of an accident.

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