Only a week after ringing in the new year, Cobb County has already seen its first major Pepsi truck crash of the decade. In the early hours of the morning on January 7th, the truck in question collided with the guardrail on the I-285 and spilled its cargo of Dr. Pepper cans across the highway. Cleanup took almost 10 hours, during which time traffic backed up along not only the I-285 but the I-75 and I-575 as well.
Slick roads from light rain may have contributed to the accident, though the exact cause and fault involved have not been reported. The Pepsi driver was taken to a nearby hospital for immediate examination. Thankfully, no one else appears to have been injured in this particular incident, but Pepsi is already on a roll when it comes to big rig crashes this year.
Only a day after the wreck in Cobb County, another Pepsi truck also collided with a freeway barrier, this one on the I-15 in Fontana, California. That truck was seen turning abruptly toward the barrier, scraping along it, and then plunging off the edge of the freeway, spilling its Pepsi products. The driver had to be airlifted to a local medical center for treatment for a broken leg, among other injuries. Also like the Cobb County crash, the one in Fontana severely impacted traffic on more than one freeway, both the I-15 and the neighboring I-210.
As inconvenient as these two wrecks were for commuters, big rig crashes can have much more serious consequences than traffic jams and non-life-threatening injuries to a single driver at a time. The commercial vehicles used by Pepsi and other major product distributors are much larger and heavier than the passenger vehicles they share the road with. More mass means more kinetic energy, and more kinetic energy means more destruction when an impact occurs.
These two accidents were, luckily, single-vehicle wrecks, which is why their consequences were as contained as they were. When other vehicles find themselves involved in big rig accidents, casualties tend to be much higher, and they overwhelmingly affect people outside of the big rig.
What Can Pepsi Do to Prevent Truck Accidents?
Companies like Pepsi have a legal and moral responsibility to protect the public from the deadly potential of their commercial vehicles. They can do this by maintaining their trucks, keeping their safety features up-to-date, thoroughly screening and training their drivers, and providing them with a healthy, supportive work environment that doesn’t lead to fatigue, rushing, and risk-taking. Unfortunately, profit-driven corporate policymaking rarely leaves room for these kinds of safety priorities, which is why these first few Pepsi crashes of the year are unlikely to be the last, or the worst.
If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one due to a Pepsi truck accident, The Stoddard Firm can help. Reach out any time to discuss your options with one of our seasoned legal experts.