Pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users, especially when large trucks are present. Not only do pedestrians lack the protections afforded by a motor vehicle, they often disappear into truck blind spots. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), large trucks traveling 65 mph take up to the length of two football fields to stop.
One Ohio truck driver was declared a hazard to public safety and issued an out-of-service order by FMCSA after striking and killing two pedestrians within a six-month period.
The first incident happened in July of 2018 on Interstate 81 in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. The victim was standing outside of a disabled vehicle. The driver was charged with “careless driving causing death of another person; driving a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions; driving outside of a single lane before ascertaining if the movement can be made safely; and failing to wear a properly adjusted and fastened safety belt system.”
The second incident happened in December of the same year on U.S. 33 in Union County, Ohio. A construction worker was struck and killed after the driver crossed over the fog line of the highway. According to the FMCSA, the driver failed to stop after the collision.
This case is currently under investigation by Union County police. On December 27, 2018, the driver was served the federal order to discontinue operating a commercial vehicle. Failure to comply with the federal order could result in civil penalties and/or criminal charges for the driver.
Where the risk is most prevalent
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2013, a total of 4,266 pedestrians were killed in single-vehicle crashes across the United States. Out of those, 283 involved large commercial trucks, which included:
- Front impact – 201 deaths (71%)
- Right side impact – 19 (6.7%)
- Left side impact – 11 (3.9%)
- Rear impact – 21 (7.4%)
- Other – 31 (11%)
The pedestrians that are most at risk of being struck by large commercial vehicles include those who are:
- Behind trucks that are backing up
- In a blind spot while a truck is making a turn
- Not wearing bright or reflective clothing
- Using headphones or earbuds while walking
- Walking while facing away from oncoming traffic
This Columbus attorney stands up for the rights of truck accident victims
If you were a pedestrian or other road user injured in a crash with a large commercial truck, it’s important that your rights are upheld. For more than three decades, truck accident attorney Scott Elliot Smith has witnessed the devastation caused by negligent truck drivers. He has seen the frustration victims and their families have experienced while dealing with trucking companies and their insurers.
Attorney Smith will fight aggressively on behalf of you and your family. To learn more, contact Smith Law Office to schedule your free consultation.