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Articles Posted in Tractor Trailer Accidents

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.

Reckless 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.

You 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.

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.

Mechanics are able to inspect things such as your car’s cooling system, battery, hoses, drive belts, tires and windshield wipers to confirm that they all are working correctly and doing their jobs to keep passengers safe. In addition to a professional inspection, drivers themselves are asked to keep an eye on their own tires, fluid levels, lights and other things that can be easily checked.

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.

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, $132 billion is spent every year from the result of drunk driving.

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, 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.

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.

Earlier this month, a bench trial that took place in a federal court in Harrisburg awarded over $2.1 million to the widow of a man who was killed in a tractor-trailer accident in Lebanon County.

According to an article on, the accident took place on Interstate 78 in November of 2009. The driver of a Freightliner semi-tractor had been idling on the side of the road and began to pull back onto the interstate at a slow rate of speed. Two men who were travelling in a pickup truck in the right lane collided with the slow moving commercial truck. The pickup truck caught fire and the driver and passenger died from fire and asphyxiation. The widow of the driver who was killed sued the driver of the commercial truck for negligence and wrongful death.

According to the article, the plaintiff argued that the driver of the commercial truck was not familiar with the route he was driving, was unfamiliar with the truck’s radio equipment, and had not received on-the-job training. In addition, it was argued that the commercial truck driver only had his commercial driving license for about a month before the accident, and that he had failed both the written test and on-the-road driving test twice.

Last week we blogged about a fatal accident at the toll plaza on Interstate 78 in Williams Township where a driver was killed, the toll both was damaged, and the highway was shut down for nearly 6 hours. An update on is now reporting that the driver of the tractor trailer that started the accident has admitted to nodding off while driving, according to court papers.

The accident happened on Jan. 13 when the truck slammed into the barrier at the toll plaza, and came down on a car and driver that was paying his toll. The truck and car caught fire and the driver of the car later died from his injuries.

According to the article, the truck driver was trying to fight fatigue while driving by rolling down his window and turning up the volume on the radio. There are reports from witnesses that saw the truck swerving before it hit the car.

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