The statistics tell us that drivers of semi-trucks are much less likely
to get injured in accidents with other motor vehicles. This is due to
the huge size disparity between 18-wheelers and most other automobiles.
Unfortunately, truck drivers are still at risk for injury while on the
road. More or less living on the road, they spend much more time behind
the wheel. They drive heavy-duty vehicles whose weight makes it difficult
to stop and prone to tip-over. Semi-trucks require a more frequent and
consistent level of maintenance in order to keep drivers safe.
While the cause of Tuesday’s crash on I-65 is still under investigation,
it is a reminder that our truck drivers are not immune to potentially
life-changing accidents. The southbound lanes of the freeway were closed
for five hours after a tanker trailer collided with the rear end of another
semi. This appears to be a secondary crash, occurring in traffic resulting
from another accident.
Indiana State Police responded to a crash reported after 1 p.m. near Columbus.
A previous and separate accident had slowed traffic on southbound I-65.
In the midst of this traffic, one semi-truck rear-ended another after
being unable to slow and stop in time to avoid the accident. A third vehicle
was sideswiped in the accident as well.
36-year-old Shawn B. Beeman was driving the tanker. After the collision,
he had to be removed from his vehicle by the
Columbus Fire Department. He was initially taken to Columbus Regional Hospital but was transferred
to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis with a suspected head injury. The
other semi-driver, Patrick Russell, was uninjured, as was the driver of
the third vehicle.
Rear-End Collisions Are Most Common Secondary Crashes
Secondary crashes are often rear-end collisions, just as in this case.
Slowed traffic and collision debris on the road can catch drivers off-guard.
Whether the accident is caused by a driver in front stopping suddenly
and unexpectedly or by the driver behind following too closely or driving
too quickly to stop (or some combination of the two), both drivers are
at risk of injury. Even minor rear-end collisions can leave drivers with
serious head, neck, or back injuries.
It’s important to remember that slowed or stopped traffic does not
present a good opportunity to pay less attention to the road. I’d
guess that most drivers have taken a moment of stopped traffic to adjust
radios, check a map, take a drink, or used a smartphone app. For obvious
reasons, this can be dangerous. Your safety and the safety of those around
you rely on all drivers staying vigilant and aware of their surroundings.
In the case of a rear-end collision, the driver of the rear collision is
often found liable for the accident; however, there are many instances
where this is not true. If you have been injured in a rear-end collision
and believe the other driver was at fault, call Wagner Reese today at
(888) 204-8440. During our free initial consultation, we will listen
to you and provide information based on our decades of experience litigating
automobile accident cases in Indiana.