A driver from South Florida is in the hospital with severe injuries after a tractor trailer loaded with 2-liter Coca Cola bottles flipped onto his car in Miramar. According to an article on CBS News’ Web site, the big rig driver, for some reason, lost control of his vehicle, which toppled on to a Honda Civic, trapping and injuring driver Eduardo Ibarro.
According to fire department officials who carried out the rescue operation, Ibarro was significantly entrapped in the vehicle. The tractor trailer was actually on top of part of the passenger’s side of the Honda trapping the patient’s leg under the car’s dashboard. The Coca Cola bottles were reportedly strewn all over the roadway, which crews spent a good deal of time cleaning up. The driver of the big rig was reportedly unhurt. Ibarro is said to be recovering and suffered non-life threatening injuries.
There is no question that the driver of the Honda was extremely lucky to be alive given the way this accident occurred. Big truck and tractor trailer accidents are extremely dangerous especially for the drivers of the passenger vehicles involved in the crash. A big rig loaded with merchandise could weigh up to 80,000 pounds and that is a lot of weight for a little passenger vehicle to take.
There are a lot of questions to be asked in this big rig crash. First and foremost is why the driver lost control. Was the truck overloaded with the Coca-Cola bottles? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates trucking companies, limits the total weight for commercial vehicles to 20,000 pounds per axle up to a limit of 80,000 pounds total. It is the driver’s responsibility to make sure that weight is not exceeded and is equally distributed throughout the vehicle.
Increased weight imposed on big rigs also causes greater stress on the truck’s parts and could cause mechanical malfunctions. It could also put the vehicle out of balance especially when it is travelling downhill or during windy weather conditions. The truck driver and trucking company could be held financially liable for the accident and the injuries caused if they were found in violation of federal loading regulations.