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Indiana Semi Truck Crash Kills Two

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Eighteen Wheeler Crash Kills Two From Chicago AreaThe Chicago Tribune has reported that an Indiana tractor trailer crash has killed two members of a Chicago-area family. The crash occurred in Shelby County, Indiana, about 30 miles southeast of Indianapolis. The family was returning to Chicago from the Atlanta area.

Two people in an extended family returning to the Chicago area from a Georgia kite-flying convention died early Sunday when a semitrailer truck hit their full-size passenger van on an Indiana interstate, police said.

In addition to killing the two people, the crash injured 16 people in the van and the driver of the truck. It happened about 3:30 a.m. near the town of Edinburgh, about 30 miles southeast of Indianapolis, said police Shelby County, Ind.

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Both the van, a 2010 full-size Chevrolet passenger van, and the truck, a blue 2007 Freightliner, were traveling north on Interstate Highway 65 when the van tried to pull onto the shoulder, witnesses told police. A witness told police the blue truck was weaving on the road just before the crash. The truck appears to have struck the van from the rear and forced it from the roadway, causing it to turn over, according to evidence police gathered at the scene.

A motorist called 911 about 3:30 a.m. and told the Shelby County sheriff’s department about the crash, Maloney said in a news release.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the young man who was killed in this tragic collision. Too many people have been killed by semi truck crashes and trucking accidents.

The news report suggested that this crash occurred in the middle of the night — with the 911 call placed at 3:30 in the morning. This makes me wonder if truck driver fatigue may have played a role in this collision.

Driver fatigue is a particularly dangerous — and completely preventable — cause of trucking accidents. Nearly 15 years ago, the NTSB issued a report warning of truck driver fatigue dangers.

The NTSB found that trucker fatigue was a contributing factor in 30%-40% of all diesel truck accidents. The NTSB found that proper sleep patterns are imperative for truck driver safety. Truckers must get 8 hours of continuous sleep after driving for 10 hours or after being on duty for 15 hours for proper safety.

The NTSB just recently issued a warning that truck drivers should also be screened for a medical condition called sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea denies people the rest they need, and it has been found to be a factor in incident involving every transportation mode, NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said in letters.

Now, certainly, I do not know specifically what happened in this collision, but the facts reported are sufficient to ask the question. I also am not pointing fingers at all truck drivers. Most truck drivers are careful, safety conscious drivers who understand the responsibility as a professional driver. It is up to the trucking industry and fellow truck drivers to ensure that all of the commercial truck drivers understand this responsibility, are properly trained, and adhere to the safety rules and regulations that are intended to protect us all.

Driving an 80,000 tractor trailer covering hundreds of thousands of miles is an awesome responsibility. Truckers and trucking corporations must be vigilant about safety.

Nationwide, large trucks (known as tractor trailers, semi trucks, eighteen wheelers, diesel, big rigs, or commercial trucks) make up only about 3% of the vehicles on the road. However, they account for far more traffic fatalities. For example, in Missouri, semi truck crashes make up as much as 15% of traffic deaths. In Illinois, tractor trailer crashes cause more than 10% of traffic deaths.

The National Transportation Safety Board ("NTSB") lists the following as some of the most common causes of big rig accidents:

  • Poor Driver Training

  • Driver Fatigue (Tiredness)

  • Speeding

  • Overloaded Trucks

  • Oversized Trucks

  • Brake Failure

  • Poor Driving Conditions

  • Driver Inexperience

  • Failure To Yield The Right-Of-Way

  • Driving Under The Influence of Alcohol Or Drugs

  • Aggressive, Dangerous Or Reckless Driving

  • Mechanical Failure (Or Improper Maintenance)

  • Defective Parts (Such As Defective Steering Or Brakes)

Truckers and trucking companies must be mindful of each of these trucking accident causes.

Visit our trucking accident web site to learn more about trucking accident safety or trucking accident investigation.

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