Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers
Median Crossover Trucking Accidents
Median crossover trucking accidents can be deadly and terrifying accidents. These accidents typically arise when a tractor trailer is driving on a highway and, for one reason or another, the truck driver loses control of the truck, the truck exits its lane, crosses the median, and drives directly into traffic heading the opposite direction. Anytime heavy tractor trailers are involved in accidents the results can be catastrophic. But when those trucks are actually hitting oncoming traffic head-on, the results are devastating.
There can be a number of reasons that a tractor trailer crosses a median and causes a deadly crash.
- Distracted driving can be a cause, such as when a truck driver is texting, talking on a phone, or doing something other than focusing his or her attention on the road.
- Median crossover accidents may also be caused by driver fatigue, such as when a truck driver has been overworked and violated his or her hours of service requirements, fallen asleep, and entered the median.
- It also may be the case that the truck driver slid on ice, snow, oil, or some other hazard, lost control, and did a median crossover that created the accident.
- A truck driver may not be paying proper attention to the roadway and suddenly come upon slowed traffic for road construction or an accident and, to avert a collision there, the truck driver swerves to avoid a collision but unwittingly crosses the median and causes another accident.
- Some accidents may be due to health of the tractor trailer driver, such as when the truck driver has a condition that causes him or her to black out or suddenly lose consciousness.
With cases where a tractor trailer crosses a median and enters the opposite lane of travel, it is vitally important to conduct a thorough investigation. This includes inspecting the accident scene for hazards that might have caused the collision, interviewing first responders and other witnesses, and looking for brake marks and other physical signs that leave clues about what happened.
It is also incredible important to obtain copies of the tractor trailer’s electronically available ECM information. The ECM, which stands for Electronic Control Module, is the truck’s computer system that records a number of events immediately preceding the accident, such as the speed the truck was driving, whether the truck driver applied the brakes, and other data that would provide clarity about the accident’s cause.
In addition, the tractor trailer that caused the median crossover accident may be outfitted with cameras that show what the driver was doing leading up to the accident. Was he sleeping? Eating? Texting? All of that information might be available and can provide incredible insight into what caused the accident.
Another issue that often arises with median crossover cases is the truck driver’s health. Many trucking companies and truck drivers claim that the median crossover was an unavoidable accident because, according to them, the truck driver experienced a sudden medical emergency. Motor carriers in these cases typically claim that the truck driver had a heart attack or other medical event that unexpectedly and unforeseeable caused the tractor trailer driver to lose consciousness. These trucking companies will say that they have no financial responsibility for the accident due to this terribly unfortunate and unlucky situation.
Whether a truck driver truly experienced a sudden emergency or sudden medical emergency is a topic for another post. Until then, however, for the trucking company and the trucker’s claim of a heart attack or other medical emergency to be successful, there must not have been warning signs for the trucker. That means that the truck driver’s medical records must be closely examined to see if the driver truly experienced a sudden emergency or if the driver’s health was so bad that the driver should not have been driving in the first place.
Cases where a tractor trailer crosses a highway median and collides with oncoming traffic are terrible and hard-fought cases. If you would like more information about a potential claim involving a tractor trailer accident, please call Virginia Truck Accident Attorney Robert E. Byrne, Jr. for a free, no obligation consultation. Bob has experience representing families who have dealt with injuries from median crossover cases, and he would be happy to discuss your case with you.
To reach Bob, please call him at (434) 817-3100 or email him at [email protected].