Drivers often avoid driving alongside big rig trucks on freeways. Big rigs are also known as “18-wheelers”, semi-trailers, and tractor trailers. They are essentially large trucks usually used to deliver large loads of products throughout the United States. These big trucks obstruct the view of drivers directly behind them, make wide turns, tend to drive at a slower speed than the rest of traffic, and have huge blind spots. These blind spots, additionally widened because of the seating location of the drivers, can often lead to collisions with other drivers, both in cars and motorcycles, especially when truck drivers are changing lanes. This propensity of collisions of automobiles on freeways is not unheard of and unfortunately, there are many such accidents, but a collision between a big rig truck and any other vehicle can be especially dangerous.
Collision of Motorcyclist and Big Rig Leads to His Death
Last week, a motorcyclist collided with a big-rig in Vacaville. Frank Gonsalves, 36, the motorcycle driver, was taken immediately to a Sacramento hospital on that Thursday afternoon and suffered major head trauma and was deemed in critical condition. The accident occurred when the driver of the north-bound semi truck, Rickie Williams, and Gonsalves, going south on Nut Tree Road, collided with Williams who was attempting to make a left turn into the driveway of a Raley’s supermarket. City spokesman, Mark Mazzaferro, states that Gonsalves couldn’t stop in time from hitting the truck. Though Mr. Gonsalves tried to brake to avoid the collision, he was unable to do so, resulting in a collision with the front fender of the truck.
Williams was not injured in the accident, but unfortunately, Gonsalves passed away Sunday afternoon in a Sacramento hospital. The police do not believe alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash and the accident remains under investigation by the Vacaville Police Department.
Large Truck Collision Statistics
In a match-up of a motorcycle and a big rig truck, the size, power, and overwhelming size ratio of big rigs gives it the clear advantage. Crashes with these vehicles can also be more serious because of these factors. The U.S. Department of Transportation – Federal Highway Administration notes that in truck crashes, a car’s occupants are more likely than the truck driver to be killed or injured, accounting for 78% and 76% of each respectively. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that in 2010, the lowest number of fatalities due to motor vehicle traffic accidents occurred since 1949. However, there was an 8.7% increase in the number of people killed in crashes involving large trucks – increasing in all categories – large truck occupants, occupants of other vehicles, and non-occupants alike – totaling 3,380 deaths.
While the official cause of accident in the Vacaville accident is not yet known, the most common causes of these accidents include:
• Driving inattention (i.e., reading, talking on the phone, fatigue related)
• Improper merging into traffic • Failure to stop for signs or lights • Unsafe speed • Following too closely • Abrupt lane changes or turns in front of a truck
Automobile collisions are always unfortunate. Aside from the emotional stress it incurs, property damage and physical injury can make the experience all the more stressful. If you or a loved one has been in an accident with a truck and believe there have been incurred costs, physical, emotional, or mental, please contact our Bay Area based firm today. Our experienced accident lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve.