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New Proposals Aim to Reduce Risk of Tennessee Tractor-Trailer Accidents

A tractor-trailer accident in Tennessee sent a driver to the Huntsville Hospital earlier this month, according to the Times Daily. Police report that the driver was airlifted from the scene of the accident to the hospital. The other driver was treated and released from the Helen Keller Hospital in Sheffield.

Both of the tractor-trailers were heading west when the accident occurred. One truck, hauling plastics for a Memphis company, left the Sprint Mart truck stop when the accident occurred. A second truck, hauling grain for a Ripley company collided into the other truck. The accident took place shortly after 11:00 a.m. on U.S. 72 near Old Lee Highway.

A Knoxville trucking accident attorney should always be contacted in the wake of an accident involving a tractor-trailer or semi-truck as injuries and damages can be severe because of the size and weight of these massive vehicles.

“For some reason he didn’t see her,” Tuscumbia police Sgt. Mike Smallwood said. “A witness who passed (Jefferson’s truck) said he saw (Willis’ truck) just run into the back of the first one.”

Emergency responders from the fire departments of from Tuscumbia and Locust Shores worked at the accident for more than 25 minutes trying to cut the wreckage away from the one driver.

Debris from the two vehicles involved in the accident covered the two westbound lanes of the Interstate. The impact of the accident was so severe that it knocked the entire engine out of one of the trucks and dislodged the rear axle from the other truck.

Colbert County HazMat team members were called to the scene to help cleanup any fuel and oil that may have spilled during the accident. The Tuscumbia police are still investigating the accident.

A second accident, on interstate highway in Oklahoma, occurred when a tractor-trailer truck struck a dozen cars and killed ten people. The cars were stopped because of an earlier fender-bender. Instead of slowing down and traveling around the clutter, the truck traveled right through the congestion at nearly 70 mph, according to the Associated Press. The truck rolled over three vehicles and dragged them along until it smashed into the others and finally came to a halt.

Investigators report that the truck driver was driving with less than five hours of sleep from the previous night. He had been driving for a total of ten hours at the time.

“Even if you don’t necessarily have more crashes, when there is a crash, there is more damage,” said Henry Jasny, general counsel for Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

Because of these, and other serious trucking accidents, the National Transportation Safety Board administered a two-day forum last week to gather the thoughts of safety experts, federal regulators and the truck and bus industries to help create ideas and action plans to help prevent these types of fatal accidents and to discuss why previous safety recommendations have yet to be enacted.

“We must remind ourselves that each data point in these statistics represents a family member that will never come home to loved ones,” said NTSB member Robert Sumwalt.

The NTSB has approximately 100 bus safety recommendations that have yet to be filed. In 1968, the board first recommended that buses be required to come with seat belts for all passengers, but it wasn’t until last year these seat belt recommendations were proposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That rule, which has not been finalized, does not apply to buses that are already on the road.

“From an economic standpoint, it would do a great deal of harm to this industry and wouldn’t improve safety,” said Dave Osiecki, senior vice president at the American Trucking Associations.

While the industry is concerned about profits, motorists need to be concerned about their own safety when around these big rigs.

If you or a loved one is injured or killed in a trucking accident in Tennessee, contact Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C. for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights with our Knoxville injury lawyers and Maryville accident attorneys. Call (877) 472-5657.

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