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Alberta Semi-Truck Accidents: A Warning for Drivers Throughout the Calgary Area

Posted in: Blog // Written on behalf of Cuming & Gillespie
May 17, 2016

Traffic accidents remain a significant cause of death in Calgary and throughout Alberta. Heavy vehicles designed to move at high speeds present inherent dangers to our relatively fragile bodies, and when they collide, it’s little surprise that serious damage can be done.

Though any vehicle can be dangerous, the heavier a vehicle is (and the faster it’s moving), the more dangerous it tends to be. Larger and heavier vehicles require more energy to get them moving, and that means there’s more energy needing somewhere to go when a crash brings these vehicles to a sudden stop. That’s why semi-truck accidents—though not the most common type of accidents in the Greater Calgary Area or in Alberta—are often the most devastating.

When a passenger car or other smaller vehicle is in a high-speed accident with a semi-truck, serious injuries almost always occur. In many such accidents, those injuries prove fatal.

This was the unfortunate case in a recent crash on Highway 36, just outside Taber. A semi collided with a pickup truck, and the 39 year-old driver of the pickup was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the semi was airlifted to a hospital here in Calgary, presumably in serious condition.

No further details have been released regarding how the accident occurred, and there has been no indication of who was at fault for this serious crash. Because the semi-truck is even more likely than a standard passenger vehicle to cause serious injury or death when involved in a collision, drivers must exercise extra caution.

This is why Alberta, along with the rest of Canada, the US, and most other nations in the world, require semi-truck drivers and drivers of other larger vehicles (as well as drivers of vehicles put to commercial use) to obtain an advanced driver’s license after demonstrating their knowledge, skill, and capability when it comes to driving these dangerous vehicle. Most Albertans have a Class 5 license. Semi-truck drivers need a Class 3 license at a minimum, and for trailers that are equipped with air brakes (as most are) drivers are required to have a Class 2 or Class 1 license.

The idea behind the tiered licensing system is that increased knowledge and skills tests help prevent serious and fatal accidents like this recent crash on Highway 36. There is also increased accountability, and this can have an impact on personal injury and wrongful death cases.

Semi-Truck Drivers and Employers Can Be Held Accountable in Calgary Courts

While there is no indication that the semi-truck driver was at fault in this particular incident, in crashes where a semi-truck driver’s negligence is found to have caused an accident, they can be held responsible in the courts. Their employer may also face liability for the serious impact these accidents have on Calgary families. To speak with a dedicated Calgary personal injury lawyer about your case, please contact our office today.

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