News reports are covering two recent big accidents that closed highways in our area for a time — wrecks involving big rigs, crashes where people got seriously hurt. Some were kids.
In Joliet Township on eastbound I-80, early in the morning of February 11th, a pick up truck ran into a guard rail. One car accident, right?
Maybe. Except two semis were traveling close by, and they both ended up crashing, too, along with another pick up truck. It took two hours to clear the roadway of the four vehicles, and get traffic moving smoothly again.
Then, over on the Dan Ryan Expressway this past weekend, a family minivan blew a tire and the driver lost control – according to news accounts, the Pontiac van spun around from its spot in the left hand lane and crashed into a nearby big rig, also traveling on the same high speed roadway. Two children and one adult were thrown from the minivan, the forces were so great.
Now, no one in the media has suggested that the trucks were at fault here. Nope, not at all. All reports are that three semis were just cruising down the freeway.
In the first wreck, a pick up truck hit a guard rail. In the second accident, a tire blew.
The question is: would these be such big, big accidents if semi trucks weren’t involved? Probably NOT. And that’s because it’s always very, very dangerous when machines weighing around 80,000 lbs. are driving along the same roads as sedans that weigh around 3500 lbs. It’s a David and Goliath situation where David never wins.
There are many, many contributing factors to any serious big rig crash: weather conditions, road hazards, shifting loads, etc. and we aren’t given any details here. We don’t know the whole story in either case.
But we do know this: any time a semi collides with a family vehicle – be it pick up truck or minivan 0r regular old 4-car sedan – it’s usually very serious.
These monsters that drive on our roadways, rolling along next to our loved ones, should be taken a lot more seriously than they are. By all of us.