Major interstates can be rife with danger. The high speeds along with the variety of vehicles--cars, motorcycles and big rigs--can make for potentially devastating highway accidents. And when big rigs are carrying heavy cargo, or cargo that is inherently dangerous, the risk of injury rises.
Recently, on Interstate 280, a cement truck crashed into a dump truck. The collision caused the cement truck to roll over, blocking three lanes of traffic. One of the trucks spilled diesel fuel, which fire crews cleaned up. A police officer stated that it was unknown which truck spilled the fuel. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.
An accident involving an 18-wheeler can easily wreak havoc on a smaller vehicle because a fully-loaded big rig can weigh 80,000 pounds, whereas a car usually only weighs around 3,000 pounds. In addition to the weight of a commercial truck, big rigs are also susceptible to jackknifing, which can cause sudden accidents, particularly when roads are slippery. These factors can lead to unpredictable and dangerous highway accidents.
Liability in a truck accident may fall upon either the driver of the truck, the trucking company or even the shipping company that owns the cargo, depending on the specific circumstances of the accident. One key determination for liability is the relationship between the trucking company and the driver. Once liability is established, a person who has been injured in a truck accident may be able to recover monetary damages to cover medical expenses, loss of income and emotional distress.
Luckily, no passenger cars were involved in this most recent truck collision, and no one was injured. However, drivers of all vehicles should exercise caution when traveling on highways and be aware of the unique risks associated with large trucks.
Source: CBS San Francisco, "Cement Truck Crash Cleared from I-280 in San Jose," Nov. 15, 2012
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