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Deadly CT accident highlights dangers of truck height limitations

Many fatal truck accidents involve speed, fatigue or distraction. Less known, but no less dangerous, are accidents that involve a truck being too large or tall for a certain road or highway structure. There are many roads in Connecticut that have not been built to accommodate large trucks. When a truck driver ignores restrictions, or when roadside warnings are inadequate, the consequences can be devastating.

Earlier this November, a truck collided with the Stanwich Road bridge overpass along the Merritt Parkway in Greenwich. The driver of a vehicle behind the truck was killed when his car crashed into the truck. Signs had been placed along the road warning drivers that trucks over a certain size were prohibited, due to some structures being too low for the trucks to safely pass under.

However, people familiar with the area said that accidents like these along the Merritt Parkway are common. Most prohibited commercial vehicles that illegally entered the highway involved drivers from out of state or those who rented moving trucks. There are signs on every on-ramp along the parkway stating that commercial vehicles are prohibited, yet there have been complaints that the signs are either difficult to see or hard to understand. A project will soon be underway to replace these warning signs along the parkway, as well as to make the restrictions easier to interpret.

Many commercial truck drivers, especially those who are renting and unaccustomed to driving such large vehicles, are unaware of the height of the trucks they are driving, as well as possible restrictions in some areas. It is crucial that drivers understand the restrictions that apply to their vehicles, to avoid causing a tragic accident.

Source: CTPost, "Fatal Greenwich accident underscores trucks not fit for Merritt," Cedar Attanasio and John Nickerson, Nov. 3, 2017

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