On Wednesday, a tractor trailer clipped a farm tractor on highway 20 near Rexburg Idaho. According to investigators, the semi truck had started to break as it approached the the tractor. When breaking failed, the driver of the semi swerved to avoid hitting the tractor but his trailer clipped the tractor. An initial investigation of the skid marks shows that the breaks likely locked up while the driver was slowing down.
The driver of the tractor was airlifted to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. The semi driver received medical attention at the scene of the accident.
Causes of Truck Accidents
After a tragic accident it is almost always a wise decision to have an independent investigator investigate the crash. When crashes are independently investigated, it is common for the investigators to find multiple causes that all contributed to the accident and multiple people or companies responsible for the accident.
All truck drivers are required to maintain detailed log books of their time driving and routinely inspect their vehicles. If an accident is caused by mechanical failure as this accident seems to be, it is possible, had the truck been closely inspected, that the driver could have become aware of the issue. An investigator looking at these truck logs would likely to be able see if this was the case.
Trucks are also required to be maintained on a regular basis. It is possible that during an independent investigation the investigators will be able to see if the maintenance of the truck was done properly and if the repair people noticed or should have noticed anything wrong with the vehicle.
Often, the company that owned the truck or the cargo is at least partially at fault for an accident. When companies make impossible demands of drivers or fail to properly train them, the risk that these drivers place on drivers of other vehicles on the road can be great. If a large company is partially responsible for an accident, an independent investigation is likely show this negligence.
Crash Statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
The information below is taken from the Traffic Safety Facts Sheet distributed by FMCSA:
- 32,675 lives were lost on roadways in 29,989 fatal accidents.
- 4,161 lives were lost in 3,649 crashes that involved large trucks or buses.
- Fatalities in crashes involving large trucks and buses decreased 2.7% from 2013.
- 657 of the lives lost, or 16% of all large truck and bus fatalities, were large truck occupants, a 5% decrease from 2013.
- Only 5% of the registered vehicles in the U.S. were large trucks and buses.
- The 5% of large trucks and buses account for 13% of all traffic fatalities.