Last month a semi-truck heading through the Arizona and New Mexico state-line crossed into a median and flipped over. According to a local news report, the accident resulted in chain-reaction, and two additional semi-trucks crashed into the flipped truck. Tragically, several people suffered severe injuries, and one person died. Reports indicate that this accident is the third time in the past year that a semi-truck crossed into traffic on the New Mexico and Arizona state lines. Although, there are 17 miles of cable medians on the stretch between New Mexico and Arizona, this particular location does not have any protective medians.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that most recent data revealed that there were almost 35,000 fatal motor vehicle accidents in the United States. Additionally, there has been a steady increase in fatalities resulting from large truck collisions. The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) reports that they found a 97% reduction in large truck collisions in states where there are cable barriers on the medians. These medians provide smaller cars with protection against accidents with semi-truck drivers.
Arizona truck accidents can cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries to drivers and their passengers. In response to the prevalence of truck drivers and the rising rate of trucking accidents, Arizona enacted several laws to protect both truck drivers and motorists. ARS 28-709 requires large, commercial truck drivers to maintain speeds under 65 mph. However, many truck drivers do not abide by this law because of the pressure to deliver their load as quickly as possible. Further, ARS 28-1095 provides that truck drivers cannot operate a trailer that is longer than 28 feet and six inches long. Some truck drivers ignore this law and will haul two or more trailers, exceeding the legal limit. Finally, ARS 28-958.01 mandates that semi-truck drivers have splash guards on their vehicles to help prevent the amount of water and rocks that can flip up. These laws are designed to protect all motorists, and truck drivers who do not abide by these laws and cause an accident may be held liable for their negligence.