Crash. Accident. Freeway closure.
We hear these devastating words almost every day. But when the traffic report glows orange and red, or breaking news reports a deadly crash, or your co-worker tells you to find another way to work because the freeway is shut down, what do you picture? Typically, two or more cars that have collided come to mind. But commuter cars aren’t the only vehicles subject to collisions.
Michigan’s economy is robust with lumber, fuel, agriculture, and many more shipments that, by their large nature, demand a larger vehicle for transportation. And while semi-trucks and tractor trailers get the job done, their average weight of around 26,000 lbs is over six times the weight of an average commuter car. Imagine running alongside someone six times as big as you! It’s easy to understand how many commuters can feel intimidated and/or rushed sharing the freeways and roadways with semi-trucks.
Even more threatening is the fact that we are in an era where distracted and drunk driving is becoming alarmingly common, and you never know who is behind the wheel of that 18-wheeler. The Michigan Traffic Crash Facts reports that heavy trucks and buses made up 11,981 of the total traffic accidents in 2016. And that’s only in Michigan! Of those nearly 12,000 crashes, 120 people were killed and more than 3,000 were injured. Additionally, 21 of the heavy truck/bus drivers had alcohol in their system.
Unfortunately, we see and hear about these statistics as tragic stories all of the time. Just last month, an 85-year-old woman from Bay City, MI was struck and killed by a semi-truck while she was walking. A couple months prior to that, a FedEx driver was driving erratically in Troy, MI while delivering packages almost a week after Black Friday 2017 – the busiest shopping time (and traffic flow) of the year! He blew a .21 on his preliminary breath test, which is more than twice the legal limit.
Unlike most commuter cars, impaired and distracted driving is not the end of the threats posed by semi-trucks. You may remember in September of 2017 when a semi-truck, measuring taller than it should have, took out four beams supporting an overpass in Brighton, MI and indefinitely shut down the Pleasant Valley Bridge over I-96. Thankfully, only one car suffered minor damage and no one was injured, but the carelessness of this truck driver could have caused deadly consequences.
Whether a truck is overloaded or has an impaired or distracted driver behind the wheel, collisions with these towering vehicles can easily cause traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, internal organ damage, and fatal injuries. These injuries are bigger than the semi-trucks that hurt you, and the impacts are often for life.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a crash involving a semi-truck and careless behavior, you deserve to fight back. Contact us today for a free case evaluation, and let’s discuss your options for getting the justice you deserve.