In Oklahoma, town planners typically allocate extra space when designing road networks to accommodate future urban growth. The infrastructure is tailored to meet the specific needs of the local community. However, when these infrastructures are strained by excessive traffic or the presence of oversized truck convoys, it can lead to confusion – and anger. Currently, this issue is affecting our South Tulsa community.
According to ABC Channel 8 News, local residents are up in arms over the number of oversized trucks traveling on Highway 169, and through streets like Mingo and 101st, in order to hit Highway 75. They’re backing up traffic up and down the roads, and causing quite a bit of anger. One resident told reporters there was a literal fist fight in a local school parking lot over these convoys, so it’s safe to say that tensions are running high.
What are the risks of all these oversized trucks in Tulsa?
What has happened so far is only a sample of the trouble such disruptions can cause to our local community, especially considering the way oversized trucks are regularly disturbing local rush hour traffic:
- Truck accidents: The longer stopping distances and reduced maneuverability of these large vehicles can lead to collisions with other vehicles or obstacles.
- Driver fatigue: Fatigued truck drivers are less alert and more prone to making errors, which can result in accidents and a higher likelihood of falling asleep at the wheel.
- Road rage: Frustrations caused by traffic congestion involving oversized trucks can escalate into road rage incidents. Aggressive driving behaviors, such as tailgating and confrontations, can endanger the safety of all road users and lead to violent altercations.
- Car accidents: Smaller vehicles may attempt risky maneuvers to navigate around these trucks, increasing the risk of collisions, especially in stop-and-go traffic.
- Pedestrian accidents: In areas with heavy foot traffic, the presence of oversized trucks can pose a threat to pedestrians. Reduced visibility and extended crossing times can lead to accidents involving pedestrians attempting to navigate around or cross chaotic streets.
- Structural damage: Oversized trucks wreak havoc on roads. They tear up asphalt and wear down line markers more quickly, simply because they are so heavy. That means additional burdens on taxpayers, because the roads will need to be repaired or repaved sooner. It also means an increased risk to drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians, as roads in poor condition may be more likely to cause single vehicle accidents (from potholes) or collisions between two or more vehicles.
Traffic laws and rules of the road are designed to keep all road users on the same page. When a variable like oversized trucks is present, each driver and pedestrian needs to adjust their normal road usage patterns, which will cause miscommunications on the road, with an unintended byproduct of accidents as a result of such confusion.
If any of these incidents lead to your or your loved one being injured, there is a case to be made against the driver and the trucking company for their negligence. Trusted Tulsa personal injury attorneys can help identify all liable parties and hold them accountable for your family’s damages.
Who is liable in an accident with an oversized truck?
When an accident is triggered by these oversized wind tower transport trucks, there are a few potential parties who could be held accountable for the resulting damages:
- Truck driver: If the accident resulted from the truck driver’s negligence, such as reckless driving, speeding, or fatigue, they can be legally responsible for the damages and injuries sustained.
- Trucking company: The trucking company that determined the route for these oversized vehicles can also bear liability. If the chosen route was inappropriate, poorly planned, or violated safety regulations, the company may be held accountable for contributing to the accident.
- Negligent passenger car drivers: If a passenger car driver’s reckless actions, such as sudden lane changes or aggressive maneuvers, contributed to the collision, they may share liability for the damages.
Oklahoma is a comparative negligence state, meaning that multiple parties can be held liable for a single accident. However, determining the degree of liability for each party involves a thorough investigation by your experienced Tulsa accident injury attorney, considering factors like negligence, employer/agent liability and compliance with regulations as they may pertain to any given set of facts.
What about the City of Tulsa?
According to News Channel 8, the City of Tulsa (CoT) claims that the routes are mostly out of their hands. Per their statement:
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) generates the Oversize/Overweight (OS/OW) state and local routes and if the route transverses COT streets, then the City reviews the route(s) before approval. If necessary, the CoT may request to place a temporary or permanent travel restriction on certain City streets or areas…
If there is an incident involving one of the truck convoy vehicles, the chances are good that neither CoT or ODOT will share any liability. But that does not mean you cannot file a complaint with the City. If enough folks complain, perhaps CoT will put some travel restrictions in place after all. Submit complaints to the City of Tulsa here.
If you have been injured in a Tulsa traffic incident resulting from the disruptions caused by the wind tower industry, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Biby Law Firm. We will seek to hold all liable parties fully responsible for their part in your or your family member’s injuries. Call or contact us today in Tulsa for your free consultation.
Jacob Biby has spent his legal career helping folks just like you get the resources they need after a personal injury, car accident, or oil field injury. He completed his undergraduate degree at Oklahoma State University and earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa in 2008. Jacob is licensed to practice in all Oklahoma state and federal courts. Learn more about Jacob Biby.