Tennessee Highway Accidents
In May, a FedEx truck caused an 8-vehicle pile-up on Interstate 24 in Nashville. Remarkably, only four people suffered injuries, and none of those injuries were life-threatening. But the outcome of highway trucking accidents is often far worse.
Police cited the FedEx driver for driving while fatigued. Despite federal laws that limit drive-time hours for truckers, drowsy driving continues to be a factor in many highway truck crashes in the Tennessee Valley.
If you’ve been injured in a highway truck crash, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Don’t wait to get help.
Call John R. Colvin today to request your free consultation: (931) 962-1044.
Some Tennessee highways and traffic patterns create conditions that may make crashes more likely. Known problem areas include:
Interstate 24 is one of those roads. The section of I-24 that winds through Monteagle is so treacherous for truck drivers that country music legend Johnny Cash actually wrote a song about it. When possible, truckers choose to take a different route, because the winding downhill descent of Monteagle Mountain creates a risk of rollover and brake failure.
It’s not just the Monteagle section of I-24 that’s dangerous. In and around Chattanooga, complicated interchanges and bottlenecks where the highway narrows increase the risk of crashes. The city also sees more truck large-truck traffic than anywhere else in the United States, so when truck drivers are speeding, inattentive, or reckless, the risk of a serious or fatal crash is even higher.
In early 2016, a head-on collision on Interstate 65 north of Millersville killed three people in two cars. A semi struck one of the cars after the initial crash, but police determined the truck was not a factor in the first crash. After the crash, the Millersville police chief told a reporter that speeding has become a problem on the stretch of I-65 between mile marker 100 and 105, with vehicles regularly exceeding 90 mph. And unlike other parts of I-65 in more heavily populated areas, there are no cable barriers or guardrails to separate the northbound and southbound lanes.
Several crashes have occurred along U.S. 231, near the Shelbyville airport, because GPS systems incorrectly direct tractor-trailer drivers to the wrong road for making deliveries to a Walmart store, and drivers who make a wrong turn must turn around and head the other direction – not an easy feat on a four-lane highway.
In that area, in January 2016, the driver of a pickup truck died when he crashed into a tractor-trailer that was making a U-turn. U-turns there aren’t illegal, and cars can easily make a U-turn from the left-most lane, but large trucks don’t turn as tightly and must start a U-turn from the right lane, spanning the entire road.
On any road – whether it’s steep, winding, slick, or congested – driver error is almost always a factor in highway truck crashes. A speeding driver will be less able to negotiate tight turns or to stop when encountering an unexpected traffic jam. An inattentive driver may not notice stopped traffic or other vehicles entering the roadway. And drowsy truck drivers can be as dangerous as intoxicated drivers, because both conditions can cause poor judgment, vision problems, and impaired motor skills. When several dangerous behaviors are combined, the risk of a crash is especially high.
In March 2016, a Tennessee trucker driving a tractor-trailer on State Route 17 in Maine lost control of his truck, resulting in a crash that killed three people. Police said the truck’s trailer crossed the centerline, sending its load of lumber across the road. The truck and lumber slid into an SUV, which rolled over and hit a van – both of those drivers died, and two other crash victims were airlifted to the hospital.
Investigators found the driver was in violation of several hours-of-service violations and had been consuming alcohol before the crash. He was speeding and driving on a suspended license, stemming from a previous conviction for driving while intoxicated and was carrying a family member as a passenger, which is a violation of federal law. For these violations and the crash he caused, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration declared the driver to be “an imminent hazard to public safety.”
Help for Injured Families
A serious injury in a highway trucking crash can disrupt your life, cause financial problems, and, in some cases, require long-term medical care. Losing a loved one because of a truck driver’s negligence not only causes emotional suffering, but families may experience financial hardship from the loss of income and medical debt. No family should have to live with debt, pain, and uncertainty as a result of a careless and dangerous truck driver.
If a highway accident has injured you or someone in your family, we want to help you hold the responsible party accountable. Call us today at (931) 962-1044 or fill out our online form to request your no-obligation consultation.