Most of us driving down the highway or even surface streets are abundantly familiar with the risks associated with sharing the road with semi-trucks. You can predict all of the potential safety hazards that you might encounter while passing or driving behind one. None of these thoughts are particularly pleasant but if you’re aware of them, you can sometimes maneuver to avoid the typical causes of collision.
Highway crossover accidents, roll overs, and swerving into other lanes are all perils we’ve almost come to expect with semi-trucks; a truck falling on top of you, however, is probably not something you’ve considered.
Of course, trucks don’t fall from the sky like rain, but they do roll off of overpasses and bridges more often than you might think:
- In April 2019, a tractor trailer hauling gravel flipped off an overpass in downtown Cincinnati when the driver’s increased speed made it impossible to negotiate a curve. Both the driver and passenger fell 30 feet, landing upside down in the cab where they remained trapped. Both survived but sustained injuries.
- In August 2019, a semi truck went off an I-77 overpass in Canton, Ohio injuring the driver.
- In September 2019, a semi truck crashed and fell off an I-40 overpass in Oklahoma. The cause of the accident was believed to be distracted driving. The truck ended up dangling over Highway 75, which had to be shut down.
- On November 7, 2019 an eighteen wheeler in Texas fell after rolling backwards on the highway across lanes of traffic, striking a retaining wall. The truck then rolled over the retaining wall and onto the highway below, killing the driver.
Dangers of tractor trailers falling from above aren’t limited to crushing other vehicles or being hit by debris. These trucks are large, and some of them hold hundreds of gallons of fuel, chemicals, and other flammable liquids, making them prime candidates for explosion. Deadly fires can begin on impact from fuel or even hazardous chemicals they’re hauling. Depending upon the chemicals spilled, there may be environmental dangers such as chlorine or other gas poisoning that can endanger the lives of nearby residents.
Further, damage and injury can be caused by cargo falling off of flatbed trucks as they roll off the sides of bridges and overpasses. This cargo can frequently be large logs, steel beams and other construction materials with a propensity to cause substantial damage and injury or death. Such an accident happened in Georgia in May 2019, causing logs to be strewn about the bridge and spilling over onto the roadway below. That accident caused injury to one victim in a passenger vehicle. Because heavy cargo tumbling off the bed of a truck is unpredictable, it poses a danger to passenger vehicles at both bridge level and street level below.
Injuries that can be sustained by pedestrians and occupants inside passenger vehicles when tractor trailers topple from above include:
When reckless or distracted driving has caused you injury, you need seasoned representation. The Georgia truck accident attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton LLP want to help. To schedule your free consultation, call our Atlanta office at 404-998-8847, our Savannah office at 912-417-3774, or reach out to us through our contact page to tell us your story.