A series of tractor-trailer accidents in Massachusetts reminds us of just how serious truck accidents can be. The latest, on March 20th, caused injuries to the driver himself and another motorist. For thousands of others it was traffic-snarling nightmare, when the tractor-trailer carrying paint flipped on the Mass Turnpike during the morning commute. Rush hour traffic was backed up for ten miles.
Other recent crashes have been much more serious. On March 17th, a college student was killed when he was struck while crossing the street in a crosswalk in Cambridge after he was hit by a tractor-trailer. News reports indicate that the truck was operated by Shaws supermarkets. In Massachusetts, under G.L. c.89, Sec. 11, pedestrians have the right of way when crossing in a crosswalk.
The most spectacular crash, thankfully one that only caused property damage and not injury, occurred in Everett in the early morning hours of December 6, 2007, when a loaded fuel tanker rolled over in a rotary. The contents spilled and ignited, then flowed down the street setting cars and homes on fires. Dozens of cars were destroyed, along with several buildings. Thirteen families were left homeless, and a hundred elderly residents were evacuated from their homes. The area “looked like a war zone.”
Defensive driving techniques are one way you can help avoid injury to yourself. A common winter hazard is the collection of ice and snow on the top trucks traveling on the highways. These accumulations can become missiles when they lift off at high speeds, easily crashing through windshields causing serious physical injuries and head injuries. Report any such violations to the police. Watch out for loads that might shift or which are loose, and do not follow loaded trucks closely. Remember, trucks have large turning and long stopping distances, and can weigh over fifty tons.
For more information, visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration safety website.
If you need a lawyer to handle your truck accident case, please contact us toll free at 1-800-379-1244, or use the contact form on this page. For more information on choosing a truck accident attorney, visit our page on Hiring a Lawyer for Personal Injuries Caused by Trucking Accidents.