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Bad combination emerges: Distracted driving and 18-wheelers

Indiana State Police say they see it more and more as they patrol our state's interstate highways: distracted driving. And when those distracted drivers are behind the wheels of 80,000-pound tractor-trailers, the risk of truck accidents involving injuries and fatalities is enormous.

State troopers responded this past weekend to more than one accident involving distracted driving and 18-wheelers. About three hours northwest of Jeffersonville, there was a fiery crash that engulfed two semi trucks in flames. Authorities said a distracted truck driver triggered the incident when he applied the brakes too hard to his vehicle when he realized he was too close to slowed traffic.

The hard, sudden application of brakes caused his truck to jack-knife, police said. His big rig slammed into a second 18-wheeler; and that second truck then piled into a third tractor-trailer. Because of a fuel leak, two of the trucks were quickly consumed by flames; eventually melting down to their frames as they sat on the highway.

One of the drivers was injured and hospitalized.

Police told a TV station that it was the third time in a day that they had responded to crashes involving drivers who failed to slow for highway construction.

Late last week, a big rig rear-ended a box truck which then crashed into a school bus filled with high school kids. A passenger in the box truck died in the chain reaction collisions.

That same night, yet another 18-wheeler rear-ended a vehicle and caused a chain reaction of collisions near Terre Haute. Fortunately, no major injuries were reported in that one.

But the succession of accidents involving large commercial vehicles and distracted driving is reason enough for anyone who drives on I-65 to worry.

A skilled Jeffersonville personal injury attorney can help accident injury victims pursue maximum compensation for all damages.

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