Two people are dead after their car was rear ended by an eighteen wheeler on U.S. 82. According to jacksonville.com, both the driver of the 1994 Ford Crown Victoria struck by the tractor-trailer, April McClaughlin Thornton, 32, and one of its passengers, 10-month-old Chase Kemp, died at the scene. Another passenger in the car, 48-year-old Mary Hill Rooks, was taken to Shands Hospital Jacksonville. The truck driver, Richard Anthony Davis, 31, and his passenger Loriane Davis, 39, were not injured.
Causes Yet Unknown
An investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol into the cause of this accident is still ongoing and we can only speculate about what happened. However, given our many years of experience handling accident cases involving large commercial and tractor trailer trucks, we cannot help but wonder whether driver fatigue played a role in this case. We have often seeing how drivers stay behind the wheel for more hours than they should, get tired and fall asleep. Even when they do not fall asleep, fatigue does not allow them to respond as fast as they need to emergency situations, something very dangerous when driving these large, heavy rigs.
Good Old Fashion Greed
Sometimes, jobs that are supposed to be handled by two drivers, are handled by one driver because that driver does not want to split with someone else what the trucking company is paying for that particular haul…Please note that the driver’s companion in this case seems to be his wife, not a second driver. Since these drivers do not have a back-up driver to help them handle the extra hours, they have no choice but to stay behind the wheel for more hours than they should. This is especially true when the driver’s greed is coupled with an unreasonable delivery schedule set by the company, which does not allow for the driver to rest as much as he needs and is required by law, forcing him to stay behind the wheel for longer hours than he should, allowing fatigue to set in and cause accidents like the one in question.
As if driver fatigue wasn’t bad enough by itself, consider how much deadlier the situation gets when fatigue is combined with the increasingly larger size of these trucks…While the average length of a tractor-trailer in the sixties was about 40 feet, today they can be as long as 57 to 59 feet. The demand from trucking and shipping companies make truck manufacturers keep making them larger. The more merchandise trucking and shipping companies can move per truck, the larger their profit margin per trip. Consequently, as long as technology allows for these rigs to keep getting bigger, the bigger they will be built.
On the other hand, despite the technological safety advances of the average family car (safety cages, etc.), our smaller everyday vehicles do not stand a chance in a collision with one of these behemoths. While the truck driver and his companion suffered no injuries, two of the occupants of the passenger car died and another had to be taken to the hospital.
The Lawyers of Greenberg Stone and Urbano Can Help
With more than 70 years of combined professional experience handling truck accident cases, the lawyers at Greenberg Stone and Urbano have helped many victims of accidents with large commercial trucks recover the funds they needed for their rehabilitation therapy, for their lost wages and for their pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident with a commercial truck, you should immediately contact a law firm experienced in handling these cases. Throughout the years, the Miami Dade County Truck Accidents Law Offices of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have represented many clients involved in traffic fatalities, traumatic brain injuries and serious personal injuries resulting from accidents with large commercial trucks.
For more details on the commercial truck accident cases handled by our firm over the years, please visit the Notable Cases section of our website. Visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today for a free consultation.