Tractor-trailer bridge accident photo.

It’s safe to say that a car accident is among the scariest things that could happen to a person. What could make such an inherently terrifying event even scarier? When the accident occurs on a bridge, and involves a tractor-trailer.

That’s exactly what happened on Friday- a tractor-trailer laded with scrap metal experienced a mechanical failure as it crossed the Tappan-Zee bridge, causing it to tip and deposit its contents across the roadway. The entire frightening sequence was caught on a dash cam recording, which shows the rear wheels of the tractor-trailer disengaging from the chassis of the vehicle, causing the massive cargo area to tilt and then overturn, strewing the bridge with debris. Smoke, scrap metal, and pieces of truck that had separated in the crash went streaming across the wreckage scene.

Talk about a horrifying Friday the 13th!

What happened? The suspension system of the tractor-trailer broke, and scattered debris struck five other vehicles. All of the damage to these vehicles was minor. Amazingly, no one was injured. One of the State Troopers who arrived on the scene was surprised as well. He remarked that the tractor-trailer driver,

“Must have been buckled in tight.”

State Troopers weren’t the only ones quick to the scene. When a crash of this magnitude occurs on a bridge, there is a secondary concern for all involved. After the health and safety of all humans have been confirmed, the matter of traffic must be addressed. Truck-loads of material scattered across lanes of traffic can have a devastating effect when those lanes occur on the bottleneck of a river-spanning, county-connecting bridge. Many commuters are affected.

The wreck occurred just north of the toll barrier, which is where road crews focused their attention as they promptly began the clean-up effort. At first, traffic was closed in both directions. The road crews worked determinedly to clean up the mess, and eventually, two lanes of southbound traffic were deemed suitable for traffic. By mid-afternoon, the bridge returned to normal traffic patterns – much to the delight of motorists.

Keep Your Tractor-Trailer Safe

Much of what it takes to maintain a big rig bears similarities to maintaining a car or SUV. However, these massive vehicles sometimes require additional forms of upkeep. Below, we’ll take a look at how you can keep yourself and other motorists safe by performing proper maintenance on your tractor trailer.

  • Many of the differences between cars and tractor-trailers are matters of scale. “Semis” have massive engines, and use a correspondingly large amount of motor oil. Before a long haul, it’s of utmost importance that you make sure your rig is filled with oil!
  • Likewise, the bigger the truck, the more damage it’s capable of. Enormous amounts of weight, moving at high speeds, makes for a dangerous equation. That’s why it’s so important that you’re able to slow down carefully and responsively. Schedule routine check-ups for your brakes, and if you hear any squealing or feel any suspicious vibrations, it’s critical that you stop at the nearest mechanic for an inspection.
  • Become well-acquainted with your radiator. Before every trip, monitor its fluid levels, and keep tabs on whether or not it has any leaks. Staying familiar with the state and condition of your radiator will help prevent any overheating issues that may arise on the road.
  • Clear out your fuel vent before embarking on a trip. All sorts of obstructions are liable to accumulate in this vent.
  • Changes in weather and the wear-and-tear of long journeys can affect tire pressure. Over time, tires will also lose inflation naturally. Underinflated tires decrease gas mileage and make steering more difficult. For these reasons, it’s important you diligently check the pressure of all the tires on your tractor-trailer.

Kaplan Lawyers PC

We sometimes take for granted the mechanical complexity of the cars and trucks we drive every day. Failure to properly upkeep our vehicles can lead to catastrophic accidents. If another driver has inadequately maintained his or her vehicle, and this negligence has contributed to a crash that has harmed you or someone you love, it may be within your rights to sue. Seeking compensation in situations like these can help you remain secure financially while you recuperate from any injuries you may have sustained. Medical bills can be outrageously high, and missing time from work while you recover only exacerbates the problem. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we will help defend your rights in court and keep you financially afloat throughout the entirety of your legal process. Not sure what to do? Schedule a free consultation with Kaplan Lawyers PC. These consultations are an easy way to begin learning about your rights and building the foundation of your case. Don’t hesitate- contact Kaplan Lawyers PC today.