One person was killed in a Calera, Alabama trucking accident recently. The crash involved two tractor-trailers and a passenger vehicle that claimed the life of a 26-year-old Bessemer man who was a passenger in the 1990 Ford Clubwagon.
Three other occupants of the van were injured and taken to the hospital, as well the driver of one of the semi-trucks. The The driver of the other rig was not injured. Our Alabama personal injury attorneys know that the occupants of passenger vehicles are most at risk in accidents with large trucks.
As we recently noted on our Alabama Injury Attorneys’ Blog, the government reported 110 large trucks were involved in trucking accidents in Alabama in 2010.
Nationwide, 3,675 people were killed in more than 276,000 accidents involving large trucks in 2010. Most concerning to safety advocates is that this is a 9 percent increase over the 3,380 people killed in 2009. At a time when the number of fatal traffic accidents has been declining, the number of serious and fatal trucking accidents continues to climb.
Each year, there are more and more trucks on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports there were 10.7 million trucks on the nation’s roads in 2010, compared to 7.8 million a decade earlier.
These accidents are more likely to seriously injure or kill passenger vehicle occupants, which account for 75 percent of those killed. An 80,000-pound commercial semi is no match for a passenger vehicle.
The Calera crash wasn’t the only tractor-trailer accident authorities dealt with recently. A tractor-trailer in Creola wrecked in the northbound lanes of Interstate 65, the Press-Register reported. While there were no reported injuries, the truck veered against the barrier after blowing a tire. It overturned and sent 11 pieces of metal into the Mobile River.
The accident happened near the Mobile and Baldwin county line on the Wilson Bridge — also known as the Dolly Parton Bridge.
Also on July 6, a Birmingham trucking accident shut down eastbound I-20 after a Honda Civic ran beneath the rear of an 18-wheeler, according to the Birmingham News.
Such accidents bookending a summer travel period are not unusual. But because of their large size, and the inherent risk posed to other motorists on the road, trucking and maintenance companies as well as other drivers have an obligation to work together to help reduce the risks of serious and fatal commercial truck accidents on Alabama roads.
Unsecured loads and poor vehicle maintenance are both common causes of trucking accidents. Loads that are not properly secured can shift during transport, and may even push a truck off the road. Trucks that are oversized or overweight may also be at increased risk for an accident.
Alabama State Troopers identify victims in Thursday’s interstate crash near Calera, By Carol Robinson, The Birmingham News, Friday July 6, 2012.