A massive Macon truck accident on Interstate 16 near Ocmulgee East Boulevard recently led to at least three deaths and several injuries on July 11, 2017.
Eight vehicles, many of which were burned beyond recognition, were in the accident. Two of the bodies were found burned up inside of vehicles. Another death occurred when a passenger on a bus that was also hit had a heart attack.
It started when the 49-year-old driver of a tractor-trailer plowed into a pickup truck, running over both it and another car. All three vehicles caught fire. Several other vehicles were struck from behind. The passengers in those vehicles suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The driver faces three counts of vehicular homicide and one count of reckless driving.
Tractor-Trailer Accidents and Why They Are So Devastating
The average midsize car weighs around 3,500 pounds, and even those can do serious damage in accidents. Tractor-trailers can weigh from 10,000 pounds up to 80,000 pounds. This immense size comes with greater risks for driver safety. At highway speeds, that is an insane amount of force – and all it takes is one little mistake for serious injury or death to occur on the roadways.
The number one cause of tractor-trailer accidents is driver error. Drug and alcohol abuse is rampant in the trucking community, which contributes to accidents. Driver fatigue is its own beast. Due to the way the industry operates, drivers are often incentivized to drive a little faster or a little longer in order to meet employer demands and make more money. This means that drivers are more likely to drive recklessly or beyond the hours-of-service limits they are allowed, both behaviors that contribute to accidents.