Teen Killed in Shelby County Truck Crash

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The recent death of a Memphis-area teenager is serving as a stark reminder of the need to be on the lookout for heavy trucks.

The girl, a 17-year-old high school senior, was killed last week when her Jeep was hit by a dump truck at the intersection of Raleigh-LaGrange and Collierville-Arlington roads. According to police, the teen was attempting to make a turn when the truck crashed into the driver’s side of her vehicle. She was killed instantly.

Police are still investigating the accident to determine the exact cause of the fatal car accident. However, they have said that the girl was wearing her seat belt and that speeding was not to blame.

Tennessee Truck Accidents

Unfortunately, truck accidents like this are all too common. A lot of the danger comes from the fact that commercial trucks are so much larger than passenger vehicles – the average car weighs only 5,000 pounds, while a fully-loaded 18-wheeler can weigh up to 40 tons. In a crash, the laws of physics dictate that the passenger vehicle is going to absorb most of the impact.

For that reason, all motorists need to use extra caution when driving around heavy trucks. Trucks are less able than cars to stop quickly or swerve to avoid an obstacle in the road. In fact, these sudden maneuvers could actually lead to rollover truck accidents, which are often more dangerous and deadly than direct collisions.

When driving around heavy trucks, don’t follow too closely, either behind or to the side – it is very easy to get hidden in a truck’s blind spot. Further, leave extra room when making a turn or changing lanes in front of a truck. It’s often hard to judge a truck’s speed, and they may not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision.

Source: Your Collierville, “Family, Friends Cope With Tragic Loss of 17-Year-Old Killed in Crash,” Jerica Phillips, May 31, 2012.