Running from Interstate 80 near Sharon Pennsylvania to the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Monroeville Pennsylvania Interstate 376 is a major auxiliary route in the interstate highway system. In addition to providing drivers, access to the heavily traveled Pennsylvania Turnpike this road serves one of Pennsylvania’s largest cities, Pittsburgh. Not only does this road serve Pittsburgh and the surrounding communities in the Allegheny Plateau, but this road also is the main access road to the Pittsburgh International Airport.
That being said, this road is frequently the site of accidents. This past October an accident on this road involving a tractor-trailer and another driver highlights the danger on these roads. In this accident, the police believe that the semi-truck driver lost control of his vehicle when he fell asleep behind the wheel. As a result, the tractor-trailer was involved in an accident with a small truck causing both the driver and the passenger to be transported to the local hospital to treat their injuries.
Causes of Truck Accidents on Interstate 376
Nearly 90 percent of commercial truck accidents are caused or worsened by some sort of human error—either on behalf of a truck driver, other drivers, other vehicle passengers, cyclists or pedestrians. Other leading causes of truck accidents on Pennsylvania roads include:
Distracted driving is a growing problem in the trucking industry partially because of the advancement and prevalence of smartphones. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration distracted driving was found in a meager eight percent of all truck accident cases, however, the FMSCA is concerned that this number will continue to grow as drivers begin to have access to more technology.
All cars on the road have spots where it can be difficult or impossible for the driver to see other motorists on the road. These areas are known as blind spots. However, while blind spots in a car may be minimal, blind spots in a truck can be extremely large and may completely obstruct a car or multiple vehicles from the driver’s view. Blind spots on a truck can be found on the left and right side of the vehicle as well as directly behind the tractor. Drivers who are driving alongside a truck should be aware of these blind spots and should attempt to avoid driving in these regions for an extended amount of time.
Driving a truck takes a considerable amount of skill, training, and attention. Trucks are less nimble than other passenger vehicles. That being said if a truck driver is required to make a sudden adjustment they can easily lose control of their vehicle. However, accidents can also occur when a driver is trying to back their vehicle into a delivery site or even when they are making a turn.
How Much Can I Receive in Compensation for An Accident?
Every year an estimated 5,000 people lose their lives in accidents involving large trucks weight at least 10,000 pounds. While it is easy to think that these serious accidents will only happen when you are near the city, consider that the United States Department of Transportation found that nearly 68 percent of all fatal truck accidents occur in rural areas.
Compensation that is available to those injured in a truck accident can either be economic or non-economic damages.
The simplest definition of what constitutes economic damage is something that you can put an exact price on. Economic damages are sometimes referred to as actual damages and generally consist of the following:
- Costs of replacing property such as a damaged car
- Medical bills, such as medical care, procedures, and medical devices
- Lost wages and earnings
- Funeral costs
In addition to these economic damages, you may also be entitled to compensation for non-economic expenses. These damages are not as easy to put a dollar amount, however, they are meant to compensate for such things as:
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case you may also be entitled to punitive damages, which are a damage type that is awarded to punish the defendant for engaging in malicious or outrageous conduct.