A recent fatal crash highlights again the critical importance of vigilance in traffic safety enforcement, especially when commercial motor vehicles are involved.
The deadly crash occurred near noon on March 2, 2013 when a tractor-trailer combination struck a Ford Expedition headed northbound on Interstate 65 about 50 miles south of Louisville, Kentucky. Police reported that the tractor-trailer was following the Expedition too closely.
The wreck killed six people: a Wisconsin man and his wife; their adopted teenage daughter; two of their elementary-school-aged foster children; and an elderly friend. It also injured two other teenage foster children. In addition, a four-vehicle crash in the southbound lanes of I-65 has been blamed in part upon the distraction produced by the fiery wreck in the northbound lanes.
An investigation has revealed that the trucking company – which owns 35 vehicles – had received 17 traffic citations in the two years before the crash. The violations included following too closely, speeding, and an improper lane change, among others. In fact, a federal agency had published a notice to state officials to inspect the company’s trucks closely.
Traveling at highway speeds, tractor-trailer trucks, which can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, impose huge safety risks upon the motoring public. With such weights and speeds, the violence of any collision can inflict severe injury or death upon drivers and passengers who travel upon the highways. The rate of violations for this company is alarming, but what is more deplorable is that the results of inspections of its vehicles placed it near the national average for trucking companies.
Faced with such hazards, members of the public must continue to demand that law enforcement officials carefully scrutinize trucking companies, and rigorously enforce safety rules. Too much is at stake to permit slack compliance with motor vehicle safety regulations.
If you or someone you know have been injured in an accident with a commercial truck, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or 800-594-4884.