Countless residents of Northern Virginia routinely travel into other states, particularly Maryland and the District of Columbia, for work or for play. The traffic patterns around the DC metro area can be particularly brutal, though, as commuters combine with government traffic which in turn mixes with the routes of commercial vehicles passing through the mid-Atlantic region. In such a heavily-traveled area, a tractor-trailer accident is bound to happen.

Earlier this year, in July, a terrifying commercial vehicle accident took place on the famous Chesapeake Bay Bridge. A 29-year-old truck driver from Canada crashed his truck into a Chrysler Sebring. The Sebring was driven by a 23-year-old woman, who had been traveling to Philadelphia at the time of the semi-truck accident. The accident was apparently the result of the truck driver’s failure to slow down. After going through a toll plaza, the truck appeared to have been accelerating while the Sebring, which was in front of the truck, and other vehicles in front of the Chrysler were slowing down.

The accident caused the Chrysler to fall about 27 feet into the water below the bridge. The impact from the truck had smashed some of the Chrysler’s windows, so when it fell into the water, the car began sinking. The driver was able to climb out the windows and swim to a pier abutment. The truck driver recently pleaded guilty to failure to control speed to avoid a crash, speed greater than reasonable and prudent and unsafe lane changing. He also pleaded guilty to negligent driving.

The above scenario is undoubtedly any driver’s worst nightmare. A strike from a huge tractor-trailer can send a passenger vehicle veering into other lanes or even off a bridge. Commercial truck drivers are held to a higher standard of safety than other drivers, which is why they must achieve the requirements set forth by their specific licenses. If a truck driver behaves negligently behind the wheel, it is important to hold such negligence accountable in the civil arena via a personal injury or wrongful death suit, which can compensate such a driver’s victims in the event of tragedy.

Source: SoMd News, “Man pleads guilty to traffic offenses after Bay Bridge accident,” Katie Fitzpatrick, Nov. 15, 2013