An Oregon federal jury ruled that two separate commercial transportation companies were liable for the recklessness of its hired truckers. Four semitruck drivers were reportedly involved in a road rage fight while driving over a distance of almost 100 miles on Highway 20. The truckers were purportedly engaged in a cat-and-mouse road battle while driving from Idaho and into Oregon. Their actions left one motorist dead and her husband with serious lifelong injuries.
As reported by CDL Life News, a jury ordered the transport companies involved to pay $26.5 million to the family of the 30-year-old woman killed after swerving her vehicle to avoid a head-on collision with two of the oncoming trucks. The truckers were allegedly acting rude and aggressive toward each other along a stretch of the highway with only one lane for each direction when the fatal accident occurred.
Victim killed despite taking evasive action
When one of the trucks crossed the highway’s double yellow lines, the other trucker attempted to pass it even though it was a “no passing” zone. The victim saw both trucks blocking the two lanes and speeding towards her. She veered her vehicle to the right and onto the shoulder of the highway. One of the truck drivers, however, was unable to pass the other truck to get back inside of his legal lane. He instead veered to the same shoulder and fatally struck the woman’s vehicle head on.
Road rage and aggressive driving can result in fatal crashes
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 16.9% of the fatal accidents that occurred in 2017 were caused by speeding, racing or driving too fast for road conditions. The NHTSA defines aggressive driving as driving too fast combined with another traffic offense such as changing lanes. Road rage refers to those behaviors taking place at the extreme end of the aggressive driving range.
Slowing down and keeping a healthy distance from overly aggressive drivers may help in preventing auto accidents. When they occur, however, serious injuries or fatalities may require legal action in order to obtain relief.