Traffic crashes happen for many reasons. A driver may be intoxicated or on drugs. They may be exhausted and unable to keep their eyes open. They may be distracted by texting or doing something with their cellphone. They could also be distracted by eating, drinking or smoking a cigarette.
Whatever the cause, the results are all too often deadly. Last week, yet another fatal, multi-vehicle crash occurred on Interstate 40 east of Jackson, killing three people and leaving another three injured.
Apparently, a truck had caught fire on the interstate and caused the rest of traffic on I-40 to slow. For an unstated reason, another semi-truck failed to slow and began striking vehicles. It eventually crashed into a Chevrolet Cruz. It knocked the car over on its side and pushed it up against other cars.
According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the three individuals who died were all inside that vehicle. The horrible aspect of their deaths is they did nothing wrong. They appear to have slowed down as traffic around them slowed and they were all wearing their seatbelts.
But when a truck driver negligently fails to slow, whether because of poorly maintained breaks, because he is violating trucking regulations by texting on his phone or fatigued because he has driven too many hours in the day or week, it really doesn’t matter when you are in a 4,000 pound vehicle and you are hit by an 80,000 truck.
Driving any vehicle is a full-time job. Distractions like texting are particularly dangerous because people become so used to doing it that they fail to realize when they are in a vehicle that they should stop.
The individuals that were killed may be from the same family, possibly a son and his parents. Perhaps there is another family member still living who will be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the truck driver.