Many times we feel that we are safer from car and truck accidents once we are off the roads and in the parking lot of our destinations. That makes sense too, because you are away from heavy traffic and around mostly stationary vehicles. However, that was not the case for one Chicago nursewho was recently killed in a parking lot by a snow plow truck.
According to reports by CBS, a nurse who was walking in a hospital parking lot in Barrington was struck by a snow plow truck and killed. According to the Lake County Sheriff, the truck was backing up and hit the victim. Both the nurse and the snow plow driver were hospital employees.
Reports have stated that truck’s flashing lights, backup alarm, and safety equipment were all functional at the time, but have not said whether the driver was using these devices, or whether he was on guard looking for pedestrians. The hospital is conducting an investigation into the cause of the accident.
One study conducted by the Michigan County Road Commission states that snow plow injuries are unfortunately common among both new and experienced drivers. The article cautions that a snow plow driver must always be alert to people who are walking and standing nearby, and it is important that snow plow drivers maintain their focus and not be distracted, even momentarily. The article further cautions that snow plow operators should complete training and be closely supervised and drivers should never “learn as they go,” but instead receive training from experienced drivers to avoid accidents.
Additionally, plow owners and companies are responsible for retraining employees and closely monitoring them to ensure they operate their plows safely. Snow plow drivers are often required to back up when plowing snow and need to keep in mind that various objects and people can appear hidden behind the truck. For that reason, drivers should avoiding reversing maneuvers except when necessary, and should always remember that there is a “dead space distance” of approximately 80 – 90 feet where a driver cannot see in their mirrors. Being another snowy Midwest state with similar conditions, Illinois snow plow truck companies and drivers should also heed such advice.
Where a company fails to properly train an employee, or where a driver acts negligently, the company and driver may be held liable for personal injuries or wrongful death in a lawsuit. As trucks are much larger and faster than pedestrians, they often cause serious injuries or fatalities. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident due to a negligent or improperly trained truck driver, you may have a legal claim against them. If you choose to file a lawsuit, you may be able to recover financial losses from injuries and lost wages and receive compensation for suffering and hardship. Contact our law firm today for a free consultation, and we may be able to help you with your case.