There probably isn’t a day that goes by when the top of a truck trailer doesn’t hit the bottom of a bridge or overpass somewhere in the country. These types of accidents not only cause physical damage, but they also tie up traffic and have been known to cause injuries and fatalities too. Cargo can spill onto the roadway and cause accidents while falling bridge debris can crash through windshields and cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles.
Inattentive Truck Drivers
Philadelphia has its own bridge strike worries. Streets that were built in the 1930s or 1940s often have low clearances. Over a five-year span, no less than 43 trucks have hit the train bridge between Matsonford and Madnor Chester Roads. Local police believe that truck drivers are using GPS apps that don’t warn them of low clearances. Inattentive driving is also to blame. Truck drivers fail to recognize low bridge clearances when they’re clearly marked and directly in front of them.
No Trucks Allowed
We’ve all seen the “no trucks” signs on city streets, but that prohibition didn’t stop a semi-trailer driver on Kelly Drive in late October where trucks aren’t allowed. The trailer he was pulling looked like a can opener was used on it after he hit a bridge. Cargo and debris were strewn on the Kelly Drive’s shoulder, and it appeared as if one of the trucks tires caught fire. Nobody was injured in the strike. Assuming the truck’s driver was cited by police, the minimum fine is $500.
Bridge Strikes Can Kill
As per the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 13 people died as a result of bridge strike crashes over five years. In New York, four passengers died when a double-decker tour bus hit the bottom of a bridge. In a Texas bridge strike, one person died and four others were injured after an 18-wheeler struck a bridge under construction and caused beams and other debris to crash down on traffic.
Who Can Be Held at Fault for Bridge Strike Injuries or Deaths?
Liability in a bridge strike accident is ordinarily attributable to the truck driver who caused the crash and the trucking company that he or she was driving for. If a loading company was involved, that entity might also be held liable.
Liability might not seem like a crucial issue in a bridge strike crash, but you can expect the insurers involved in a personal injury or death case be pointing their fingers at each other. Then, you can expect them to join in contesting the damages claimed. An experienced and skillful Philadelphia personal injury lawyer will be needed to pursue the maximum damages available under the circumstances.