In a devastating accident on the Pennsylvania turnpike between the Bensalem and Willow Grove exits on Monday, an 18-year-old New Jersey woman was killed when a tractor-trailer collided with her car, hit an embankment and flipped over, crushing the woman’s vehicle with her inside. According to news reports, the tractor-trailer was carrying 20,000 lbs. of detergent. The crash is still under investigation.
The immense size and weight of commercial trucks and tractor-trailers make them extremely dangerous to the occupants of passenger vehicles when involved in a collision. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, of the 3,660 people who died in large truck crashes in 2014, 68 percent were the occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles, 16 percent were truck occupants and 15 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists.
According to the FMCSA’s Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2014 released in March 2016, https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/Large-Truck-and-Bus-Crash-Facts-2014%28April%202016%29.pdf the large trucks involved in injury crashes increased by 21 percent between 2013 and 2014. Of the approximately 411,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks, 3,424 resulted in at least one fatality. Collision with a vehicle in transport was recorded as the first harmful event in nearly 73% of fatal crashes involving large trucks. Overturn (rollover) was the first harmful event in 5 percent of all fatal crashes involving large trucks. Tractor-trailers are very vulnerable to overturn because of their high center of gravity and the possibility of an unstable load. Tragically, both collision and rollover came into play in this week’s fatal crash on the Pennsylvania turnpike in Bucks County.
If a truck’s cargo load isn’t properly secured or balanced, it can cause items to shift during transit, which can increase the dangers of a truck rollover, especially when a truck is turning. Speeding is another common cause of rollovers, especially when negotiating a curve in the road or when entering or exiting a highway ramp. Other causes of a semi-truck overturn could include steering mistakes, improper braking, hitting an object or a tire blow out. Truck driver inexperience or distraction can also be a contributing factor to what leads up to a truck rollover. No matter what the cause, the end result can be devastating, especially when a much smaller passenger vehicle is in the path of the truck.
When a truck collision or rollover occurs, causing injury, the truck accident lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli in Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre, can help oversee a detailed investigation of the accident to determine the cause. It may have been negligence on the part of the trucking company or a truck manufacturer, truck driver negligence, or a combination of several. Our results in truck accident cases speak for themselves. We’ve negotiated millions in settlements and have won numerous verdicts on behalf of our clients in accidents throughout the state of Pennsylvania.
Call an experienced truck accident lawyer in Pennsylvania
If you or a loved one were injured in a truck collision or a truck rollover, call the accident lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli in Philadelphia or Wilkes-Barre today for a free consultation. Call 215-575-9237 to speak to a Philadelphia accident lawyer or 570-714-HURT for to speak to a Wilkes-Barre accident lawyer.