Articles Posted in Tractor Trailer Accidents

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Pennsylvania is ramping up its continuing effort to become the “proving ground” for self-driving vehicles.  Earlier this month, Pennsylvania held its first Automated Vehicle Summit.  The event was held September 11-12 in State College.

Advocates of automated vehicles are hoping to make the roads safer by removing the human error element that leads to so many car accidents.  However, the process of proving to the world that these cars will indeed make the roadways safer is still in the works.  The most interesting question is whether there is a need to show that self-driving cars are as close to 100% safe as possible or whether it just needs to be shown that they are simply safer than human controlled vehicles.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Leslie Richards was the keynote speaker at the Summit.  Other officials from PennDOT, state police, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the state departments of Community & Economic Development and Labor & Industry were among those that also participated in the summit.

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The odds of getting into a crash increase with the number of cars on the road and Memorial Day weekend is one of the most heavily traveled weekends of the year.  The American Automobile Association (AAA) projects 34.6 million people will drive 50 miles (80 km) or more from home during this holiday period, the most since 37.3 million in 2005 and an increase of 2.4 million people from last year.

National Safety Council put out their highest estimate of Memorial Day holiday accident fatalities since 2012. The estimated number of fatalities is 12% higher than the average number of deaths that occurred during the previous six Memorial Day holiday periods.  The Council also estimates around 47,000 people may be seriously injured on the roads during the three-day holiday period, beginning Friday, May 26 and ending on Monday, May 29.

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“Memorial Day should mark the start of summer – not the start of another deadly driving season,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Paying attention, slowing down and being courteous can ensure you and your fellow travelers make it to picnics, beaches and BBQs rather than emergency rooms.”

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With the rising popularity of cell phone use over the years the amount of car accidents caused by distracted drivers has also increased.  More and more drivers are having trouble keeping their eyes on the road and instead are choosing to look at their cell phones to text, use Facebook and snapchat, read and send emails, or do any number of distracting things on their phone.  Even though almost all of the States ban texting while driving, the National Safety Council estimated that as many as 10,000 Americans were killed because of distracted driving last year.

If you are travelling at 55mph and are looking at your phone for 5 seconds you will travel the length of a football field without looking at the road and the possible dangers that exist on it.  By texting and driving you are essentially driving blindfolded and putting your life and the lives of others in danger.

In 2016, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a survey and found that 40% of drivers stated they have read a text or an email while driving, and nearly 1/3 reported typing one.  There have been numerous public service campaigns, such as “It can wait,” to convince people to put down their cell phones while they are driving but the distracted driving epidemic continues to exist at an alarming level.

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reckless driverReckless driving seems easy enough to spot, right? But, accidents still happen and it’s important to know the signs so that you can avoid getting in one. What seems like common sense can sometimes be overlooked on the road. Keep an eye out for these kinds of driving behaviors to ensure you and your passengers remain safe.

Ignoring Traffic Signs and Lights

If a car is continually running stop signs, blowing through red lights and simply ignoring the rules of the road, they are a hazard. Make sure you are obeying all traffic signs and lights, as well as staying away from those drivers who don’t, to prevent a potential accident.

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Group of girls having fun with the carYou and your friends are about to pile into the car to embark on a day trip that is sure to be packed with all sorts of fun and adventure. The driver knows their role, but the fight for the front has only just begun as the passengers try to wage their arguments for who deserves the highly-coveted front passenger “shotgun” seat in the car.

After numerous futile “dibs” calls, a footrace that likely ended with a physical struggle in front of the car door, and pleas for sympathy from one friend claiming severe car sickness, a victor emerges and assumes their rightful throne while the less fortunate squeeze into the back where they will immediately begin barking for more leg room.

The story illustrated above is a familiar occurrence for friends and groups as they prepare to travel, but there’s actually a lot more that goes into “riding shotgun” than just full control over legroom and air vents.

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Dangerous winter conditions cause accident on highway.

Dangerous winter conditions cause accident on highway.

January 10-16 is PennDOT’s annual Winter Driving Awareness Week and the department is urging all drivers to exercise winter-appropriate driving practices and to have their cars checked by mechanics as temperatures drop and winter conditions take hold of our roadways.

In order to stay safe this winter and prevent automobile accidents that could endanger your life as well as the lives of others, PennDOT is urging drivers to have vehicles professionally serviced. The unseasonably warm weather that blanketed the state earlier this winter has seemingly ended, with 2016 already proving to be colder in the first few weeks. That being said, a visit to the local mechanic is highly encouraged for all.

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The freezing rain and overall icy conditions on Sunday created a dangerous situation for drivers in PA, especially in the Philadelphia region. Interstates 95, 76, 476 and the Roosevelt Boulevard all saw accidents on Sunday.  At least three people tragically died from these accidents.

Around 60 cars were involved in a pileup on the Schuylkill Expressway not far from the Gulph Mills exit. One person was killed in this wreck and at least 30 others were injured. The road was closed in both directions for part of the day Sunday as crews worked to clean up the damage.

On 476 in Delaware County, two people were killed in another multivehicle crash near Marple Road. This accident began when a tractor trailer lost control and slid on the ice. The area of 476 was closed for the remainder of the morning Sunday.

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Driving under the influence is one of the worst offenses that a driver can commit. Every day, people are getting killed and seriously injured after people decide to drive while intoxicated. These people who commit the dangerous crime of “driving under the influence” are putting themselves and other people at great risk.

In 2012, a man crashed his car in Rhode Island while he was driving while intoxicated. The crash caused the death of his girlfriend and the loss of his legs. The man was wanted in Florida prior to the crash for a probation violation related to drunk driving and not having a driver’s license. The man was charged for killing his girlfriend and for driving under the influence. He is currently waiting to be sentenced and he is facing 25 years in prison.

Drivers should always be aware of the dangers that occur on the roadway. Incidents that are similar to the one in Rhode Island happen every day in this country. Everyone should know that each crash does not just impact the people in the crash but their family, friends, coworkers and more. According to MADD.org, $132 billion is spent every year from the result of drunk driving.

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The calendar may be edging slowly toward spring, but the temperatures here in Pennsylvania are anything but spring-like. Although the weather forecasts have yet to show if we may see any more snow this month, that’s not stopping one PA senator from pushing for legislation involving snow and ice on top of big trucks.

In an article on WFMZ.com, Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-Northampton/Leghigh, is backing a bill that will require big truck drivers to remove ice and snow before they take to the road.

Currently, under Pennsylvania law a driver can be fined if snow or ice that comes off of his or her vehicle either causes bodily injury or death. But in New Jersey, a driver can be fined for failing to clear their vehicles before driving.

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According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered a Tennessee truck driver and his trucking company to cease operations, following an accident in Pennsylvania in November of 2013.

In November, the truck driver was travelling along Interstate 81 in Franklin County when veered onto the shoulder of the road, hitting a car and 2 pedestrians. He then hit a dump truck and his tractor-trailer overturned. The truck driver fled the scene and was later apprehended. He was charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, failure to stop at an accident involving death or personal injury, as well as other charges.

In 2009, the driver was convicted of driving under the influence in Utah, where he also attempted to flee the scene.