Around three am on January 7, 2010, a semi-truck hauling 50,000 gallons of crude oil was involved in a single vehicle rollover right outside of Heber City on U.S. 40. The truck accident resulted in an oil spill that required the Utah High Patrol to stop westbound traffic until the Utah Health Department could send the hazardous material cleanup crew. Fortunately, nobody was injured in the trucking accident and the cleanup was completed in a couple of hours.
The second large truck accident this morning occurred on eastbound Interstate 80 when the driver of a dump truck lost control and rolled. The Deseret News reports that the driver sustained multiple injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Luckily, no other vehicles were involved and there were no other reported injuries. However, traffic was affected—during rush hour. Authorities are not sure why these truck drivers lost control of their vehicles and caused significant accidents on Utah roads. Investigators are looking into the possibility that the drivers were driving impaired by driver fatigue or inattentiveness. They have not ruled out whether the trucks mechanically malfunctioned.
Most people agree that they would rather have semi-truck operatives travel at night or early morning to avoid driving with the average commuters. However, some people are beginning to question whether the odd driving hours present a safety hazard. They wonder how successful long haul drivers are with coping with drowsy driving especially when traveling in the dark. Others question whether semi-truck operatives follow the speed limit during their long hauls.
National Statistics on Big Rig Accidents in Utah
Authorities report that large truck operators have several unique obstacles when driving across the country these include:
• Unfamiliarity with the roadway
• Driving too fast for conditions
• Maneuvering truck in a manner not designed for the weight or load
(which can off balance the entire truck and its load)
• Distraction by passengers
• Low visibility of smaller vehicles
Statistics from Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) report that an average of 5,000 large trucks are involved in fatal traffic accidents each year. Tractors pulling one semitrailer are the most common truck involved in a fatal trucking accident. MCMIS also reports that around 136,438 large trucks were involved in non-fatal crashes. From these statistics, it is obvious that motorists must be extra cautious when driving near semi-trucks and other large trucks. Even if a truck does not hit another vehicle, it can still be a lethal instrument. For instance, a trailer could jackknife across a highway, obscure other drivers’ sightlines, or push cars out of lanes.
The laws for dealing with the aftermath of truck accidents can get quite complex. Fortunately, if you’ve been injured in a truck accident around Salt Lake City, Orem, Bountiful, or Draper Utah, you can rely on the time-tested attorneys at Christensen Law Firm, PLLC. Dial us at (801) 506-0800 or contact us at UtahPersonalInjuryLawFirm.com to find out more about our unique practice and to explore setting up a free consultation with our team.