A California couple and the woman’s teenage son were driving from Vacaville, California to Houston, Texas to start a new life together when they were involved in an accident early in the morning on May 5 near Gallup, New Mexico. According to an article in the Houston Chronicle, the car was being driven by a 38-year-old woman. Her 28-year-old boyfriend was in the passenger seat, and her 15-year-old son was asleep in the back seat when they were rear-ended by a semi-truck. The accident was so violent that the car rolled onto its roof and burst into flames. The man and woman were killed on the scene, but the teenager luckily suffered only minor injuries.
The Dangers of Semi-Trucks on the Highway
The cause of this month’s accident is still under investigation, but it appears from the article that the truck driver either did not see the couple’s car or was unable to slow down to avoid the collision. Semi-trucks often carry heavy and large loads at high speeds, and semi-trucks are not always able to stop as quickly as other vehicles. If a semi-truck is following another vehicle too closely, and the front vehicle slows or comes to a stop, the truck may not be able to stop as quickly as the other vehicle, and the results can be devastating. This danger is increased if the semi or trailer has not been properly serviced.
Poor Maintenance Can Cause a Disaster
Many New Mexico semi-truck accidents are caused by poorly maintained trucks. Semi-trucks can travel tens or even hundreds of thousands of miles each year, and they must be maintained to the highest standards of safety to protect the public. Unfortunately, this standard of safety is not always met. Often, the tractor and trailer portions of a truck are maintained separately, and maintenance reports are not always kept properly. Each axle of a tractor trailer is designed to have functioning brakes, but it is easy for a truck driver or maintenance technician to overlook problems in the braking system, which can prevent the truck from stopping quickly enough. The brakes may appear to function properly when the trailer is empty or on flat ground, but when a semi-truck has a full payload or is traveling downhill, it is much harder to stop. A simple mistake or oversight can be deadly.
Who is Responsible for an Accident?
When a New Mexico semi-truck crash occurs, it is not always easy to assign responsibility. In a rear-end accident, it is usually the driver of the vehicle in back who is found responsible for the accident, but that is not always the case. Sometimes the driver in front may have acted in a way that would make him or her responsible for the accident. If it is dark, for example, and the driver does not have properly functioning brake lights, some responsibility may be assigned to the driver in front. It is also possible for an accident to be caused by a driver failing to check his or her blind spot and merging directly into an upcoming vehicle. When an accident occurs and causes injury or death, the last thing the victims want to think of is how to assign responsibility. Whichever driver is at fault, the loss is tragic regardless.
Have You Been in an Accident?
If you have been in an accident with a semi-truck, let the Fine Law Firm review your case free of charge. Our experienced New Mexico accident attorneys have the skill that is needed to pursue the results that our clients deserve. We recognize the unique dangers of semi-trucks, and we know how to get your case to a jury or seek the settlement you deserve. We represent clients in many New Mexico personal injury cases, including semi-truck accidents. If you have been in an accident, contact us before accepting any offers from an insurance company. Call us at (505)889-3463 or contact us through the website for a free consultation today.
More Blog Posts:
Semi-Truck Crash near Albuquerque Ruptures Tanker, Closes Interstate 40, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, April 4, 2014.
Two Accidents involving Semi-Trucks Cause Three Deaths in Eddy County in A Matter of Days, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, April 23, 2014.