Truck drivers are a vital part of our infrastructure, moving food, products, and goods across the country. Unfortunately, the trucking companies may take shortcuts in safety to try and save money. When trucking companies violate traffic and safety regulations, it can put the public at risk of injury.
Truck Drivers on Prohibited Routes
There are a number of roads, neighborhoods, and bridges where large trucks are prohibited. This is to protect the public from dangers like collapsing bridges, overturned truck accidents, and blocking traffic. One route in Philadelphia that is off-limits for trucks still has regular accidents every year caused by trucking companies who ignore the restrictions.
Trucks Prohibited on Kelly Drive
Kelly Drive is a scenic roadway that follows along the Schuylkill River from the Philadelphia Museum of Art to about Wissahickon. During the summer months, it is closed on the weekends to allow for cyclists and runners to use the road. The rest of the time it is open to traffic but it is always closed to large trucks. The weight limit for the roadway is 10,000 pounds, making it okay for most cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs, but off-limits for RVs, buses, and tractor-trailers.
There is a good reason Kelly Drive is closed to semis and tractor-trailers. The winding road can make it easy for high center of gravity vehicles to tip over, especially when traveling at high speed. However, the greatest risk to trucks (and other vehicles around the trucks) is when passing under the low bridges. The bridges present a hazard to high-profile vehicles that can hit the overpass, tear up a truck, knock a truck over, or cause damage to the bridge. The minimum clearance for the overpasses is 9 feet.
Even though trucks are prohibited on Kelly Drive, there seem to be at least a couple of accidents a year.
- On New Year’s Eve 2018, a truck overturned on Kelly Drive after 6 a.m., blocking the road in both directions until the vehicle was towed away.
- In February of this year, a U-Haul truck hit the low underpass on Kelly Drive, wrecking the truck and causing it to block traffic.
- In October of this year, a large tractor trailer hit the low underpass on Kelly Drive, tearing open the container and blocking traffic.
Many trucks continue to take their chances on this prohibited route, to save time or avoid traffic. If the Philadelphia Police do see trucks traveling on this route, the driver might get pulled over and cited with a $500 fine.
Truck Accidents with Other Vehicles
When tractor-trailers get into an accident with other vehicles, the smaller passenger cars usually lose. Semi trucks are large, have a high center of gravity, and carry much greater mass. This can cause extensive damage to passenger vehicles and trap the drivers and passengers inside the wreckage.
When a driver or passenger is injured in an accident and unable to get out of the vehicle, the fire department or emergency services may have to cut the individual out of the car or use the “jaws-of-life.” This can delay treatment of a critically injured patient and increase the risk of serious harm or death.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a trucking accident in Philadelphia, contact us online or call us at (215) 561-4999 for a free consultation.