It doesn’t take much to cause a trucking-related accident, and weather conditions can wreck havoc on semi tractor-trailers, which have high centers of gravity and can tip over one the interstate more easily than smaller vehicles and a lot more often than some people can imagine. With this year’s constant barrage of bad weather all across the country, Maryland has had its share of weather-related traffic accidents.
Although many highway and rural road accidents can be attributable to bad weather and/or poor road conditions, professional drivers are trained to recognize inclement weather conditions that could cause a dangerous reduction in safe vehicle operation. Being able to control a commercial truck, such as a semi tractor-trailer, is the primary job of a commercial truck driver.
While occasionally an 18-wheeler may crash as a result of faulty vehicle equipment, such as poorly designed or maintained braking system components or steering parts, the driver is also a key element in the safety equation. Numerous people have been maimed or killed while riding in a passenger sedan, minivan or sport utility vehicle if only because the vehicle they rode in was hit by a much larger vehicle, such as a Peterbilt, Kenworth, or International truck.
Those passengers and driver of smaller motor vehicles that are struck by semis or other large commercial trucks may escape death, but they can also sustain serious and life-changing physical injuries as a result. Medical complications or simply the typically extensive bodily injuries can be costly in terms of a family’s finances due to high doctor and hospital bills, as well as lost wages if the victim was a primary breadwinner.
A while back, the weather apparently played a part in the single-vehicle truck crash on a stretch of US301 near Owens Drive. The accident happened mid-week in the later afternoon when a UPS tractor-trailer was in the process of crossing Harry Nice Bridge. According to police reports, the vehicle was headed south on US301 when a gust of wind apparently blew the semi over into the northbound lanes.
Based on news reports, the incident happened just before 5pm on a Wednesday. Police reports indicate that semi came to rest in the opposing lanes, lying on one of the bridge’s parapet walls. Fortunately, no other cars, trucks or motorcycles were involved in the accident, and the trucker received only minor injuries and did not require hospitalization.
Of course, had it been later in the evening, it’s conceivable that other vehicles may have been present when the truck rolled over on its side. Any time a commercial truck of that size lands on a smaller passenger car, the occupants of the smaller vehicle can be seriously injured, if not killed in the course of the crash.
According to reports, the crash tied up traffic for miles and made the bridge essentially unusable for the next two hours as emergency crews cleaned up the accident scene and engineers assessed the bridge’s structure for any serious damage before authorities would reopen the span.
Tractor Trailer Accident On Harry Nice Bridge, WUSA9.com, July 13, 2011