An 18-Wheeler Jumps a Median into Oncoming Traffic in East Texas
Monday, May 20th, 2013
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On Friday in Winona, Texas, which is in East Texas, an 18-wheeler reportedly jumped the median while traveling eastbound on Interstate 20 west of mile marker 575 near Barber Road. After crossing the median, the truck, which witnesses say was carrying pillows, rolled over. There are few details about the accident but it appears that several other cars were involved but no one was seriously injured.
With an 18-wheeler jumping a median and crossing into oncoming traffic on a Texas interstate, it’s very fortunate that there were no fatalities. Big rigs are completely unlike standard cars and trucks, and they can easily cause massive destruction.
A few facts about 18-wheelers:
- The maximum legal weight for an 18-wheeler is 80,000 pounds or 40 tons, though trucks can obtain oversize and overweight permits. By comparison, the average weight for other vehicles on the road is 5,000 pounds.
- The average length of an 18-wheeler is about 80 feet long.
- Many different situations can cause 18-wheelers to “jack-knife,” which means that the trailer comes around on the driver in the cab of the truck. It has been said that if a trailer exceeds a 45 degree angle to the tractor, a jack-knife is unavoidable. This situation happens when trailer wheels begin to skid and move faster than the cab and on wet or icy roads, but it can also occur when there is no load in the trailer and the driver brakes hard.
- The distance needed to bring an 18-wheeler to a stop is about 40% greater than for a car or truck. The stopping distance is affected by the weight of the load, road conditions, and other factors.
Tags: Dallas, Fort Worth, Fort Worth Texas, Friday, Interstate 20, Road, Semi-trailer truck, Texas