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Recent MO semi accident fatality and injuries remind drivers of danger

Semi trucks and other commercial vehicles are an integral part of the economy, but unfortunately, the presence of these vehicles can make the roadways more dangerous. This may especially be a concern for drivers in Jackson County and other parts of Missouri, where statistics indicate that commercial vehicle accidents occur at a rate above the national average. A recent fatal crash involving a semi truck served to remind Missouri drivers of the risk that these vehicles introduce.

Seven people affected in crash

Missouri’s Monett Times reports that the accident, which involved five vehicles, took place on Interstate 44. Traffic was slowing due to a separate accident, but a Freightliner tractor-trailer failed to stop. The truck collided with one car, injuring the driver and pushing the car into the side of a second vehicle.

Unfortunately, the accident did not end there; the Freightliner went on to hit a third car, wounding the passenger and fatally injuring the driver as the vehicle was pushed into a fourth car. The driver of the fourth car was injured as his vehicle was forced into a fifth car, harming two more occupants. The Freightliner only came to a stop when it collided with a second Freightliner.

Including the driver of the Freightliner, seven people were injured, including the fatal injury. The sheer number of people affected in this accident reflects the fact that trucking accidents often have much steeper consequences than regular car accidents. Sadly, statistics indicate that Missouri drivers may be especially at risk of experiencing this type of accident.

Rate of similar Missouri accidents is high

Section 3.5 of the 2011 Missouri Traffic Safety Compendium, put together by the Missouri Highway Patrol Statistical Analysis Center, reveals troubling statistics about the rate of Missouri commercial vehicle accidents. Figures reported include:

  • Commercial vehicles were involved in 9.2 percent of motor vehicle accidents.
  • Commercial vehicles played a role in 15.2 percent of fatal accidents.
  • The rate of commercial vehicle involvement in fatal crashes increased by 10.2 percent from 2010 to 2011.
  • On average, every 2.4 hours a person was killed or injured in a commercial vehicle accident in 2011.

Alarmingly, these state statistics exceed the national average. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that nationally, 3,781 people were killed in large-truck accidents in 2011, representing about 11 percent of total fatalities that year. This indicates that Missouri sees an above-average number of accidents involving large commercial vehicles.

Accident victims have rights

The Traffic Safety Compendium categorizes the accidents reported in 2011 by many criteria, including behavior of the commercial vehicle driver. Leading accident causes reported were:

  • Inattention.
  • Improper lane usage or lane changes.
  • Traveling at excessive speed.
  • Failure to yield.

These findings suggest that driver negligence, rather than vehicle issues or roadway problems, is a leading factor in Missouri commercial vehicle accidents. Without a doubt, the actions of passenger vehicle drivers contribute to some accidents involving commercial vehicles. However, there are also many accidents, like the one that occurred recently, in which the behavior of passenger vehicle drivers made no difference.

Sadly, when the drivers of commercial vehicles act carelessly or recklessly, the consequences can be devastating for other motorists. If you have been hurt in an accident with a commercial vehicle, you should speak with an attorney about pursuing compensation.