The range of Oklahoma's weather means driving in extremes. Winter drivers may face freezing rain, other times of the year it is dust storms and severe thunderstorms. Weather can easily cause a trucking accident that might turn into a major highway pile-up.
Recently, in Oklahoma, an accident closed both lanes of travel as crews sought to clear the roadway. A semi-truck jack-knifed spilling fuel and blocking both lanes. The crash involved several other vehicles as well. Hazmat was called in to assist and traffic headed north on Broadway Extension near Oklahoma City was at a standstill for hours.
While it is unclear what caused the crash, rainy weather could have contributed. In many of these crashes, it becomes very difficult for a vehicle in a nearby lane or traveling behind the jack-knifing big rig to avoid the collision. Late last year, freezing rain caused slick roads in Oklahoma that resulted in a 21-vehicle pile-up.
In neighboring Texas, foggy conditions around Thanksgiving created dangerous driving conditions. Even with limited visibility, many drivers continued along at the speed limit. Minor errors ended up starting a chain reaction that involved 140 vehicles in total. In that crash, a semi-truck came up too quickly on a passenger vehicle, was unable to slow down fast enough and hit the SUV killing the couple inside.
When semis are involved in multi-vehicle crashes, the injuries are often severe just because of the size differential of the vehicles involved.
Negligence in multi-vehicle crashes
The United States Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has found that most tractor-trailer collisions involving passenger vehicles occur on divided highways and Interstates. One of their other findings is that passenger vehicles strike tractor-trailers more often than the other way around. The roadway data suggests many drivers are more relaxed and less vigilant while driving on highways or interstates, which can translate to slower response times.
A possible factor in the higher prevalence of passenger vehicles hitting semis could relate to the rear lighting. Often in inclement weather, it can become very difficult to see the rear lighting on a trailer. A violation of lighting requirements may be the cause of a rear-end accident and once shown could place the blame for the accident with the semi-truck.
If you or a loved one is injured in a multi-vehicle accident, it can be difficult to uncover what caused the crash. An experienced personal injury attorney can discuss available remedies. If the negligence of another driver caused the accident, you may be entitled to damages to cover medical bills, lost wages and pain, and suffering.