A woman suffered serious injuries when her car collided with a tractor-trailer on Holland Road in Suffolk, Virginia (VA), on the evening of February 5, 2015. The crash occurred just west of the Route 58-Route 13 interchange, and the semi operator did not get hurt.
Police could not immediately determine why the big rig and the passenger car crashed. Details reported in the Suffolk News-Herald, however, indicate that the injured woman became trapped in her car and had to be cut out by fire and rescue personnel. This suggests that she wound up underneath the truck in some way, possibly getting hit from behind or sideswiped during a lane change. Another possibility is that the tractor-trailer slowed or stopped suddenly, causing the woman to rear end and slide under the rig.
Undoubtedly, investigators have many scenarios to consider. What will not change no matter what explanation emerges is that an accident involving a large truck left a car's driver hospitalized. The sheer size and weight of semis represent risks to everyone on the road, including truckers themselves. Big rig operators have high duties to drive safely and to watch for cars whenever they turn, stop or change lanes. At the same time, people behind the wheels of cars and trucks must avoid tailgating semis, stay out of truckers' blind spots and resist temptations to become distracted when driving near trucks.
Reports of fatal trucking accidents come to the attention of my Virginia personal injury law firm colleagues and me almost every day. A large majority of those accidents probably could have been avoided if one or both of the people involved exercised more care and caution. While it is good news that the wreck in Suffolk did not prove deadly, it does provide yet more evidence that drivers can probably do more to make local roads as safe as possible.