Connecticut State Police are reminding drivers of the importance of highway safety, including not speeding and following too closely, after four big rigs and a car were involved in a serious crash with injuries on May 2.
State police said at 12:20 AM they responded to a crash on I-95 in Connecticut near West Haven. Three of the tractor trailers and a Toyota were driving in the right lane when traffic started to slow in a construction zone. The fourth tractor trailer failed to slow and hit the Toyota from the rear. The impact lodged the car under the trailer in front of it. three of the big rigs and the Toyota had major damage and two of the drivers suffered serious injuries.
The tractor trailer in the rear was cited for following too closely.
The state police are urging all drivers to use caution in construction zones, to not speed and to not follow too closely on the highway.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truckers caused 82 fatalities and 6,000 injuries in rear end crashes in 2013. Some of these accidents occur in construction zones on interstates where the truck driver fails to slow for traffic. Other incidents occur on rural roads and highways.
Rear end crashes caused by tractor trailers are much more dangerous and deadly than similar crashes where only cars are involved. Here’s why:
- Trucks weigh as much as 80,000 pounds when they are loaded with goods. When a heavy truck slams into a 4,000 pound car, the resulting forces can be devastating for the occupants of the smaller vehicle.
- Big rigs take longer to stop than smaller vehicles. Truckers may not be able to brake in time if they are not carefully watching the road at all times. Construction zones are classic areas where rear end crashes occur.
- Trucks are more likely to push the car they rear end into another vehicle. This happened in the CT accident above.
Truckers get into rear end crashes for many reasons. Many truckers drive too many hours without proper rest, even though there are strict federal regulations for how long they can drive without taking a break. Truckers also may be distracted by cell phones. Whatever the reason, if a trucker rear ends a car and causes injuries, he can be held liable in civil court by the injured parties, with a possible truck crash settlement in the millions of dollars when a death is caused by the trucker’s negligence.