Semi-truck accidents are on the rise as trucking companies expand business operations to the Lehigh Valley. A fully-loaded big rig can weigh over 80,000 pounds. Most passenger vehicles weigh under 4,000 pounds. The disparity between a large, heavy truck and a standard auto is bad news in an accident. Semi-truck accidents can result in catastrophic injuries to those in passenger vehicles.
There are laws preventing tractor-trailer drivers from speeding or driving too long without sleep; however, drivers know that their jobs depend on getting freight delivered. The drivers may speed, skip sleep, break traffic laws or take other risks to make up lost time. Some companies put profit before safety. They turn a blind eye to danger.
Semi-truck cause accidents in the Allentown area
Truck drivers are aware that Interstate 78 can be perilous to semi-truck operators. Notable accidents in 2017 and 2018, among others, caused major trauma and multi-vehicle involvement.
- August 20, 2017 - A semi-truck rear-ended a bus on Interstate 78. The bus rolled over. Emergency medics triaged 26 bus passengers along with the bus driver to three area hospitals for medical treatment, including Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown.
- October 4, 2017 - Two semi truck crashed on Interstate 78 at Allentown. Emergency crews extricated one driver from his cab and transported him to Lehigh Valley Hospital. Unfortunately, he did not survive his injuries.
- February 22, 2018 - A chain-collision took place between two tractor-trailers and three passenger vehicles in stopped traffic at Allentown on Interstate 78. One semi-truck driver illegally backed up, pinned one car and caused a cascade of other vehicles to crash behind it. Two drivers sustained head and neck injuries.
- December 21, 2018 - A catastrophic chain of accidents swept up multiple vehicles on rain-drenched Interstate 78. A tractor-trailer illegally moved into a no-truck lane to speed up travel time. The rig struck a concrete barrier and jumped the median to the opposite side of the interstate. The horrific accident continued as other big-rigs and passenger vehicles crashed into the sudden intrusion.
Allentown drivers can take precautions near semi truck
An incorrectly loaded semi-truck can result in instability. Sliding cargo can jackknife the truck. The rig may have faulty brakes, or a drowsy driver can weave across lanes. Lehigh Valley residents would do well to drive defensively. It is dangerous to pass a semi-truck on the right because tractor-trailers have large blind spots surrounding their rigs.
Never cut in front of a semi. Some drivers do not realize that a big rig takes almost twice as long to stop than a passenger vehicle. It may not be wise to dart in front of a semi-truck when a traffic light is about to turn red.