A trucking company with numerous violations for unsafe driving and failure to properly maintain its fleet of vehicles was involved in a tractor trailer crash that injured adults and children in Pennsylvania. The out-of-control tractor trailer damaged nine vehicles and two school buses before it crashed into a home. To add insult to injury, the homeowner's house was burglarized the weekend following the crash as a direct result of damage that was caused by the careening tractor trailer. The homeowner wants the freight company to pay for damages, but as of yet it is undetermined if the homeowner has actually recovered damages.
It was described as a horrific scene as the truck sped down a congested road before the driver finally lost control. Injured school children were rushed to the hospital following the accident. One mother states that her teenage son was found halfway out the school bus window as a result of being jarred by the impact of the crash. She is thankful that her son is still alive, but wants the trucking company to pay for damages stating that that better hiring practices and training are needed for tractor trailer drivers.
It is estimated that there are over 286,000 tractor trailer accidents per year, while some resources record over 500,000 tractor trailer accidents in the United States annually. Trucking revenues totaled over $600 billion during the same year. The Lassen Law Firm, truck accident lawyers in Pennsylvania, handles all cases at the low contingency fee of only 29%
There are over 11 million tractor trailers on U.S. highways that log in over 288 billion miles per year. In Pennsylvania, approximately 6,000 tractor trailer accidents occur each year with approximately 150 fatalities in addition to injuries. Because many tractor trailer drivers drive beyond the prescribed legal hour limit per day or rush to meet unrealistic deadlines, freight truck accidents are more frequent than is the case with non-commercial driving.
Additionally, tractor trailers weight 25 times more than the average passenger vehicle. This results in a longer period of time and distance necessary for the tractor trailer to come to a complete stop. Not only is driver skill and safety required for adequately handling a tractor trailer at high speeds on the freeway, but also weight distribution of goods within the tractor trailer itself is a crucial part of safely freight transportation. If goods are distributed without proper equilibration within the truck, this can result in a greater propensity for the truck to lose control. In the case of the Pittsburgh mega-accident noted above, unsafe driving was the main cause of the accident and resultant injuries.
Tractor trailer safety courses help cut down on the number of accidents. Topics designed for tractor trailer safety such as Driving and Being Prepared Checklist, Driving and Tailgating, Driving and Using Cellular Phones Safety, Driving Distraction, Driving Fatigue Prevention, Driving in Highway Construction Zones, Driving in the Fog, Driving in the Rain, Driving in the Winter, among other specific safety issues are readily available in English and Spanish. However, not every trucking company has the same level of concern for driver safety that could prevent accidents on major highways and even in residential areas, as one homeowner learned.