A portion of I-95 north of Baltimore was shut down earlier this week after a semi-truck collided with a courtesy vehicle and two other cars stopped on the roadway's shoulder. Three people were taken to local hospitals in serious condition following the I-95 crash. They were outside their vehicles when the truck collision occurred.
Because of their sheer size relative to other vehicles involved in truck-car collisions, individuals in the passenger vehicles (not the truck) tend to suffer greater injury than truck drivers or passengers. We've previously discussed size disparity issues with trucks and cars.
Safety Issues With Large Trucks
As noted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, additional safety issues with semi-trucks include:
- The potential for underride accidents: This occurs when a passenger car is crushed, lodged or drug beneath the trailer portion of the truck
- Longer braking distances: Fully-loaded semis can require up to a 20 to 40 percent longer stopping distance than a passenger vehicle.
- Maintenance issues: Poorly-maintained brakes, particularly, can further increase stopping distance of moving tractor-trailers.
- Driver fatigue: Although federal guidelines limit the number of on-road hours a driver may log, studies indicate that many drivers are pushing these limits or ignoring them all together.
When and Where is it Safest to Share the Road With A Semi?
There's really no clear answer to that. Any time you are travelling, by air, land or sea, there is a potential for a serious or fatal accident to occur. That is simply life and the world we live in.
As in this I-95 crash, truck collisions are most likely to occur on interstates, freeways and other major roads across the country. There is generally no "safer" time of day to be on the roadways with these large, heavy vehicles. The IIHS reports that fatal truck collisions are just as likely to occur at midnight as they are at noon.