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Accidents Involving Multiple Tractor-Trailers

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Driving in traffic with multiple tractor-trailers is a challenge for many drivers. Most tractor-trailer drivers are responsible. They’re experienced maneuvering their truck and trailer at highway speeds, but if a careless and negligent driver of one of those big rigs drives irresponsibly, the result could be chaotic and catastrophic.

That could be what occurred in Northampton County on Friday, September 28, 2018 in a heavy rainfall when one person was seriously injured in a pile-up involving four tractor trailers and a passenger vehicle in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 78. The crash actually spilled over onto the westbound lanes of the highway too. That resulted in the highway being closed in both directions.

One of the tractor-trailers that crashed landed on a car, and another rolled down an embankment. The trailer on a third split open and spilled drums on the highway. Police continue to investigate the accident. At the time of this article, the cause was undetermined.

Stopping Distance and Speeding

A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. That’s at least 30 times heavier than the weight of an average passenger car. At a high speed on a busy highway like Interstate 78, a tractor-trailer can flatten a passenger vehicle in a matter of a few seconds. When multiple tractor-trailers are involved in a crash, the risk of severe injuries or deaths increases exponentially.

We’re fully aware of the fact that time is money in the trucking industry, especially in the current economy when there just aren’t enough truck drivers to haul cargo. The sooner that a trucker can get a load to a destination, the sooner another load can be arranged and on the move. That’s not a reason for truckers to drive at excessive speeds and put the lives of other people around them in danger though. A fully loaded truck on a dry road is going to need 20 to 40 percent more stopping distance than a passenger vehicle. That stopping distance only increases when a truck driver is speeding, and when roads are wet like in the Northampton crash, stopping distances drastically increase.

Evidence To Be Examined

In the context of the injured victim’s personal injury claim in the Interstate 78 case, considerable evidence must be sifted through. Four trucks were involved, so four sets of records must be examined. Some of that evidence will consist of:

  • Employment, safety and police records for all drivers.
  • The results of any alcohol or drug tests.
  • All log books.
  • Results of any dash or traffic camera footage.
  • Truck black box and GPS data.
  • Investigative reports.
  • Traffic offense dispositions.

With regard to liability for the injuries suffered in the Interstate 78 crash, expect the respective insurance companies to be pointing their fingers at each other. That’s not going to operate to the benefit of the injured victim in any way. Decisive and effective action must be taken by an aggressive truck accident attorney.

Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer

If you were injured, or a family member died in a large truck accident as a result of the carelessness and negligence of a truck driver anywhere in or around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or New Jersey, contact our offices right away for a free consultation and case review with our truck accident lawyers. If we’re retained, we’ll hold the liable parties accountable.

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