Semi-Trucks Stopped On Sides of Service Roads Leading to Fatal Accidents
The National Transportation Safety Board is currently looking into a hidden danger on our U.S. highways: A shortage of parking spaces for large trucks leading those trucks to park in unsafe locations – such as on the sides of ramps – which can then lead to fatal collisions with oncoming cars. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 2020 alone, there were 4,000 injury and 55 fatal accidents involving big rigs near interstate on and off ramps.
One such victim died on his way home when his pickup slammed into the back of a semi parked on the side of a rest stop service road off the interstate. Because it was so dark and the big rig did not have lights on, it was arguably impossible for the driver to see it parked there. His family is now suing the truck company for negligence. In addition, a hauntingly similar crash killed three people when a Greyhound bus hit several big rigs parked along a rest stop access road.
Trucking Association Complains of Lack of Parking
The American Trucking Association maintains that drivers are forced to park in these areas because there aren’t enough rest area parking spaces for all of the trucks on the roads. In addition, CBS News conducted its own investigation, finding that where big rigs were parked on freeway and rest stop shoulders, rest stops were often already full of parked trucks.
The Law in Nevada
Regardless of trucks having difficulty finding spaces in rest stop locations, the state of Nevada prohibits all motorists from stopping, parking, or leaving their car standing on a highway, indicating that if there is an accident due to the presence of the truck stopped in an illegal location, the truck driver and company could very well be found negligent and responsible for any injuries and deaths that result from a collision. Nevada follows a modified comparative negligence system, where a victim can recover financially as long as they are not more at fault for the accident than the defendant(s). The amount of damages received by the victim is reduced based upon any responsibility they shared in the accident, such as hitting a semi parked on the side off ramp after engaging in distracted driving.
Related cases have ruled against the parked big rigs, citing a general duty of each person to exercise reasonable care for the safety of others, where it is not unforeseeable that a driver could collide with a semi parked in these areas, improperly stopped. The courts have found that tractor-trailers not only have a duty to park legally, but also safely.
If You’ve Been Harmed by Truck Negligence, Contact Our Las Vegas Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a truck’s negligence, the Las Vegas personal injury attorneys of Cameron Law can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and find out more.