Fatal Crash in PA When Big Rig Rear Ends Car

A man died in Ephrata, Pennsylvania on Oct. 4 in a crash with a tractor-trailer, according to the Pensylvania Highway Patrol. 

They reported that a 64-year-old man from Lititz, Pennsylvania died when his car was rear-ended by the truck in the 300 block of South Reading Road in Ephrata. He was transported immediately to the hospital but he died a few hours later.

The tractor-trailer was driven by a 24-year-old male. The police are still investigating the fatal truck crash.

Our View

Rear end truck crashes are much more serious than those caused by drivers in regular cars. A fully loaded tractor-trailer is like a lethal missile that weighs 80,000 pounds. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that truckers caused 82 rear-end collision deaths in 2013. In most of these crashes, the truck that rear-ends the other vehicle is nearly always at fault.

As personal injury attorneys who litigate on tractor-trailer crash cases, we would like to point out the common causes of rear-end crashes by trucks:

  • Tired. When truckers drive 10 hours or more, it is easy for them to become tired or even fall asleep. 
  • Distracted. If a big rig driver is not minding the road and is instead reading his cell phone, it is very easy to slam into a vehicle stuck in traffic or stopped at a stop light or stop sign.
  • Congestion. Highways sometimes have traffic, and it is not unusual for stopped traffic around major cities. Truckers may be zoned out and driving at 60 or 70 MPH and not notice that traffic is stopped in front of them.
  • Brakes. Trucks take much longer than cars to sop. If a truck’s brakes are in poor condition, it may not be able to stop in time.
  • Weather. Truckers get paid by the mile in most cases. So there is an incentive to keep driving fast even when the weather does not allow it.

These are the most common reasons that trucks rear-end other vehicles. It is important to note that truck crashes are much more complex than other crashes because of the many insurance companies and different state and federal regulations involved. If you are hurt in a rear end truck crash, it is important to see if there is the possibility of legal action to compensate you for your injuries.

We handled a rear end truck crash in Virginia Beach that left two little girls with traumatic brain injuries. The truck crash case netted the family a $5.5 million settlement, but we want to remind truckers to use caution when driving to avoid causing these types of devasting accidents.