Due to the large size and bulk of tractor trailers, 18-wheelers, and other big rigs, any type of crash or collision involving these vehicles has the potential to be deadly. Some of the most severe and unfortunately common types of truck accidents include head-on collisions. In addition to causing serious and in many cases fatal injuries to the truck drivers involved, these accidents can have a ripple effect, impacting other motorists on the road as well.
Truck Accidents Involving Head-On Collisions
News Channel 21 reported on a deadly head-on collision involving two trucks in the Eastern Oregon area which occurred in late December of 2017. It happened during the early morning hours on Highway 20, when a Springfield man in a 2016 Kenworth commercial truck and trailer headed east swerved into the oncoming lane, crashing head-on into a 2015 Freightliner driven by a Portland truck driver. Both men died at the scene as a result of the fiery crash, which spilled more than 400 gallons of fuel onto the road and resulted in lane closures for 20 miles in either direction for much of the day. Two other motorists were involved in the accident after colliding with the trucks before flames erupted. Both drivers were fortunate to escape with only minor injuries.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these types of commercial vehicle collisions are sadly common. NHTSA crash statistics indicate that close to 90,000 truck accidents occur each year throughout the United States, killing more than 3,700 drivers. In nearly half of all of these cases, head-on collisions were listed as the cause of death.
Common Causes of Head-On Collisions
The NHTSA reports that while head-on collisions tend to be more severe and potentially deadly, the factors involved in these crashes are often the same as those in other types of truck accidents. These include:
- Speeding and driving too fast for conditions;
- Disregard for traffic signs and signals;
- Aggressive driving, such as improper passing and failure to yield;
- Distracted driving, such as texting, adjusting radio stations, or looking at maps while driving;
- Impaired driving, due to alcohol, drugs, and prescription or over-the-counter medications;
- Drowsy driving, and falling asleep behind the wheel.
In the Highway 20 crash, speed and poor weather conditions were listed by responding officers as being contributing causes in the deadly crash. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), wet or icy roads and slick road surfaces are factors in roughly a quarter of all truck and motor vehicle accidents that occur.
Contact Our Office Today for Help
If you or someone you care about has been involved in a truck crash or collision, reach out and contact the Johnston Law Firm. We can arrange a consultation with our Portland truck accident attorney, who can provide the professional legal representation you need to get compensation for the losses you suffered, Call or contact our office online today.