Two tractor-trailer drivers died in a collision on a highway in rural Missouri, one from Michigan and the other from California, on January 29th.
Reports made by the Missouri State Highway Patrol indicate that the collision occurred just after 11:55 PM on U.S. 24, about a mile east of Moberly in Randolph County.
The accident was caused largely in part due to a 2022 Kenworth tractor trailer that was stopped along the highway with part of the trailer still blocking both lanes. A 2023 Freightliner tractor-trailer smashed into the Kenworth trailer and also struck the driver who was outside of the Kenworth at the time.
Both drivers, the Freightliner driver Michael Fenner (61) and the Kenworth driver Kayasmual Blanks (31), were killed.
“This was an unfortunate collision that should have never occurred,” said Gerald Singleton, leading personal injury attorney at Singleton Schreiber. “There are truck safety practices and regulations in place for drivers to ensure that they safely coexist with others while out on the roads. Crashes such as this, serve as harsh reminders as to why those safety practices exist.”
Fatal Missouri Truck Accidents
Missouri, like many other states, has witnessed a disturbing increase in fatal truck accidents in recent years. These incidents not only result in tragic loss of lives but also pose a significant threat to road safety. Understanding the causes behind these accidents is crucial to developing effective solutions and improving transportation safety in the state.
The statistics surrounding fatal truck accidents in Missouri paint a concerning picture. According to the latest available data, there has been a notable uptick in the number of accidents involving large trucks, such as tractor-trailers and semi-trucks, leading to fatalities. These accidents have far-reaching consequences for victims and their families, as well as for the state’s overall road safety.
Causes of Fatal Truck Accidents:
Driver Fatigue: One of the leading causes of fatal truck accidents is driver fatigue. Long hours on the road, tight schedules, and pressure to meet delivery deadlines contribute to truck drivers pushing their limits, leading to impaired concentration and slower reaction times.
Distracted Driving: With the prevalence of smartphones and other electronic devices, distracted driving has become a major concern. Truck drivers, like any other motorists, can be tempted to engage in activities like texting or browsing while driving, increasing the risk of accidents.
Inadequate Training: Insufficient training for truck drivers is another factor contributing to fatal accidents. Operating a large commercial vehicle requires specialized skills and knowledge, and a lack of proper training can lead to serious errors on the road.
Mechanical Failures: Trucks are complex vehicles that require regular maintenance. Mechanical failures, such as brake malfunctions or tire blowouts, can result in catastrophic accidents if not addressed promptly.
Poor Weather Conditions: Missouri experiences a range of weather conditions, including heavy rain, snow, and ice. Adverse weather can significantly impact road safety, and when combined with the challenges of operating a large truck, it increases the risk of accidents.
Strict Enforcement of Hours-of-Service Regulations: Authorities must rigorously enforce regulations limiting the number of hours truck drivers can spend on the road without adequate rest. This can help reduce driver fatigue and enhance overall road safety.
Enhanced Training Programs: Investing in comprehensive training programs for truck drivers can address the issue of inadequate skills and knowledge. This includes training on safety protocols, handling adverse weather conditions, and the proper use of technology.
Regular Vehicle Maintenance Checks: Implementing strict regulations and monitoring mechanisms for regular vehicle maintenance can prevent accidents caused by mechanical failures. Timely inspections and repairs can ensure that trucks are in optimal condition for the road.
Addressing the rise of fatal truck accidents in Missouri requires a multi-faceted approach that involves collaboration between authorities, trucking companies, and drivers. By implementing and enforcing safety measures, enhancing training programs, and raising public awareness, the state can work towards reducing the number of tragic incidents on its roads and ensuring a safer future for all motorists.
“My hope is that the truck-driving community understands the gravity of this situation,” added Mr. Singleton. “One simple error in their practices led not only to the death of the driver but another driver as well. My thoughts are with the families of both drivers at this time.”