Those big rig semi trucks that fill our roadways here in Indiana and Illinois, particularly, are known to be dangerous for others on the road. The 18 wheelers are heavy, especially when they are hauling a full cargo load, and other vehicles on the road — sedans, SUVs, motorcycles, other trucks, vans — are wise to respect the power of these monsters. Blog posts here have covered numerous events involving deaths and serious injuries happening to all sorts of people who have had accidents involving semi trucks. Big rig 18 wheeler crashes often mean fatalities will happen.
The Dangers of Driving Big Rigs: It’s More Than Accidents and Wrecks
However, there is more to consider about these big rig semi trucks. Those truck drivers work long, hard hours to bring home the bacon to their families, and it’s often a thankless and lonely work: did you hear about the story of the truck driver’s dog who waited for his owner to return and get him at the truck stop … for two days? It’s a tossup who was happier: that trucker or that pup.
Just this week in the national news there are stories that give great examples of how dangerous driving a semi truck on American roads can be these days. Consider these:
- In California, Alexander Bell was killed last month when he tried to stop a thief who was stealing gas out of his semi big rig truck’s gas tank. There was a scuffle, the evildoer took off driving a nearby semi truck with its driver, Mr. Bell, hanging on … sadly, the driver fell and his truck, driven by the thief, ran him over. A tribute web site has been set up to help his family with financial needs. Reportedly, the Stockton Police Department is pursuing this tragedy as a homicide.
- In Florida, Angel Aleman was driving his tractor trailer big rig along a highway near Jacksonville, Interstate 95, in the early hours of the morning (3:40 am) when a hammer crashed through his windshield. He was not hurt. The Florida Highway Patrol was on the scene, and a man has been arrested and at last report, was being held in the Duval County Jail. No one knows why he decided to risk the trucker’s live and others on the road by throwing the hammer at the moving big rig.
- In Virginia, a truck driver died in a crash that was caused by a tire going through the windshield of his tractor trailer truck as he was driving along Interstate 81. This happened a little after eight in the morning this past Monday. The trucker, Laurence Mitchell Dean, lost control of the big rig as the tire slammed into the windshield and the moving truck crashed into the highway guard rail. The truck driver was killed, pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The tire, and its wheel, had come off a horse trailer attached to a pickup truck moving in the opposite direction. The horse trailer/pickup truck driver has been charged with operating defective equipment.
- In the New England Journal of Medicine this month, an article appears with a shocking photograph of the effects of UV rays to a truck driver’s face after a career of driving trucks for over 28 years. The sun exposure from the big rig cab’s window on the left side of the trucker’s face causes significant damage to the skin and increases the risk of cancer and melanoma.