Maryland Merging-related Traffic Accidents Involving Tractor-Trailer Rigs

Maryland roadways can be fraught with dangers for drivers, vehicle occupants, mass transit commuters, people on foot or those riding bicycles. Whatever the situation, being in close proximity to any kind of motor vehicle traveling on a city street, rural highway or beltway can pose risks that each and every one of us tend to take for granted all throughout the year. But not being cognizant of the threats that traffic presents doesn’t mean one is immune to the effects of a roadway accident far from it.

As professional litigators, the legal staff at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, know how often innocent people are sent to hospital emergency rooms with severe or life-threatening injuries. As motorists ourselves, we also recognize the multiple opportunities for car, truck and motorcycle collisions that arise every day on the streets and thoroughfares of cities such as Columbia, Frederick, Annapolis and Washington, D.C. We also know that many traffic wrecks take place on the interstate and beltway, as well.

Because large commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) outweigh passenger vehicles, the consequences of a collision between an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer and a passenger sedan or family minivan can be very serious. Hundreds of individuals are killed every year in Maryland as a result of roadway wrecks, a great deal of which result from the negligent actions of a commercial truck driver. In fact, based on a government study of large truck accidents, about half of all trucking-related collisions were between a large CMV and a passenger vehicle.

The study, published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), listed some of the associated factors of commercial truck accidents as follows:

  • Interruption of traffic flow
  • Lack of driver familiarity with local road(s)
  • Trucker driving too fast for local conditions
  • Illegal driving maneuver
  • Driver distraction or inattention
  • Trucker fatigue
  • False assumption of another driver’s actions

These and other causal factors can often be found in many injury-related and fatal commercial trucking wrecks. In particular, many of the more frequent causes of CMV-related collisions can be attributed to driver error. Of the many instances where an accident involves an 18-wheeler big rig, large box truck, semi tractor-trailer or massive automobile transporter, some collisions can happen during the infrequently considered merging maneuver from surface streets to the interstate or beltway.

While not often thought about, mainly due to the brief period in which such maneuvers occur, the merging of a relatively slow CMV into fast-moving traffic flow can present significant crash risk. Instances of a merging-related crash can affect not just one passenger vehicle, but many. Especially during times of high traffic volume, such as morning and afternoon rush hour, the density of the traffic on the highway or beltway only serves to exacerbate the resulting traffic incident.

A distracted truck driver is dangerous enough for those motorists and passenger car occupants in the immediate vicinity, but add to that the potential of a trucker being fatigued, drunk or impaired due to prescription medications or illegal substances, and the possibility of someone being seriously hurt or even killed can be very high. As skilled personal injury lawyers, the legal team at Lebowitz & Mzhen knows how a simple mistake or seemingly minor oversight can lead to a bad crash and weeks or months in the hospital for any hapless victims.

As any driver knows, the act of merging presents one of the more dangerous situations when driving a car, truck or motorcycle. Accelerating from a relatively slow pace to highway speed while observing the flow of traffic into which one’s vehicle must blend can be a complex and highly dangerous maneuver for some motorists. Commercial truckers are supposedly well trained for such events, and generally the majority of truckers perform such moves without a great deal of drama. However, there are instances where a commercial truck driver may not be concentrating on the task at hand, leading to an often unfortunate collision with one or more other motor vehicles.

As professional trucking injury attorneys, we know that the aftermath of a commercial truck crash can be horrendous for the victims. Those riding in much smaller and lighter-weight passenger cars can find themselves badly hurt if the vehicle in which they are riding is hit by a tractor-trailer or other large motor vehicle. Traumatic brain injury, internal bleeding, broken arms or legs, and even burn-related injuries can result from a wreck involving a CMV and a small family sedan or minivan. Even sport utility vehicles are no match of the relatively large and massive big rigs that ply Maryland’s roadways on a regular basis.

If a trucker is not paying attention to the flow of traffic as his or her 18-wheeler is merging from an onramp, the chances of colliding with another vehicle can be significant, especially during rush hour. The typical 18-wheeler is several times the length of the largest SUV; as such, the ability of another passenger car, motorcycle or light truck to avoid being struck by a massive commercial truck can be difficult at best. From the standpoint of the average motorist, it is best to be extra cautious when large CMVs are attempting to merge with traffic in your area.

Sadly, even the most vigilant drivers can find themselves outmatched and in serious trouble when a commercial trucker fails to do his part to drive safely. As professional trial lawyers serving those victims of traffic-related injury accidents, Lebowitz & Mzhen’s experienced legal experts know Maryland personal injury law and how to use it to best advantage for our clients. We are ready and willing to help victims and their families following a negligence-related traffic wreck; in most instances, the trucker who caused the accident should be held liable for his or her negligent actions, especially when those actions caused severe or permanent injury, not to mention death.

If you have been badly hurt in a merging-related commercial truck crash, we recommend that you contact a qualified Maryland injury lawyer to discuss the details of your personal injury case. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we can help victims by explaining their right to recover damages under Maryland law. Furthermore, we analyze all of the current costs, as well as predicted future expenses, pertaining to the injuries suffered at the hands of a negligent truck driver. Taking into account all the costs associated with your trucking-related injury accident, we include medical costs, rehab expenses, lost wages and even future nursing or physical therapy expenses in your personal injury claim.

There is no reason why an innocent victim suffering from injuries resulting from the negligent actions of another driver or third party should bear the full cost of their recovery from an accident that should never have occurred. As skilled legal professionals, Lebowitz & Mzhen’s attorneys can provide Maryland auto and trucking accident victims with a free, no-obligation consultation. We are happy to speak with you regarding your commercial trucking-related injuries and discuss your legal options. Please call or email us. You can send a message to either Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen, or call our offices direct by using our toll-free phone number: (800) 654-1949.