Even though life has seemingly gotten back to normal for many people who must be on the road every day, authorities continue to see traffic fatalities on the rise. Such was the case in Hartford last Wednesday in a rear-end collision on I-84. Blake Burrows, 27, of Manchester, was behind a tractor-trailer at approximately 8 a.m. near Exit 55 when hit the back of the 2015 Kenworth truck.
Burrows was pronounced dead at the scene, while the truck driver was uninjured. Police are investigating the cause of the crash.
Catastrophic injury or death in truck accidents
Many drivers do not realize the risks that come with sharing the road with trucks, or that these hazards increase with high speeds. Even though truck drivers receive special training and experience that allows them to safely operate these massive and unwieldy rigs, the size difference alone between a car and an 18-wheeler will often result in catastrophic injuries.
A fully loaded semi weighs up to 20 times more than a regular-sized car, and truck drivers cannot slow down quickly or they risk losing control of the vehicle, which may jackknife and cause the load to spin. Cars are also lower to the ground, so in a collision the carriage area sometimes goes under truck, causing brain, neck and spine trauma to the occupants. Even in catastrophic accidents, however, the truck driver often walks away unharmed.
What causes truck accidents
Trucks account for only 4% of the vehicles out on our nation’s highways, but yet they are involved in 10% of all traffic highway fatalities. In 2017, truck driver error was a factor in one third of traffic accidents, according to the FMCSA. The main causes were:
- Driver distraction, impairment from drugs, alcohol, or illness, or inattention
- Careless or reckless driving
- Failure to yield the right of way
Fatigue is a chronic problem. Even though there are federal regulations that limit the number of hours professional drivers may be on the road and mandate how many breaks they must take, one study found that truckers average 4.8 hours of sleep per day, and that in a study of 120,000 truck crashes, 13% of the truck drivers were fatigued at the time.
Filing a claim in Connecticut
Connecticut drivers who have experienced serious injury or loss in a serious truck accident involving driver negligence may file a civil claim for financial compensation. As the state follows the legal theory of comparative negligence, the injured party may recover partial damages even if their actions partially contributed to the accident. In order to pursue a successful claim, it is essential to find out the best strategy for recovering damages from insurance companies, the other driver, or other responsible parties.