Imagine that you’re driving down the road and all is well. A truck approaches in the oncoming traffic lanes, but you think nothing of it. You’ve passed thousands of trucks in your life as a driver, so when this truck comes and goes, you aren’t even thinking about what kind of dangers it may pose to you. What you don’t know is that just seconds earlier, a piece of heavy cargo fell off that truck and landed in your lane.

Just think about how devastating an impact would be between your vehicle and that piece of cargo. Sadly, you don’t have to imagine how devastating it would be, because three years ago, this very accident happened and claimed a man’s life.

As the man was crossing a bridge, the truck that passed him lost a piece of logging equipment off its cargo area. The piece of equipment collided with the man’s car, killing him. The man’s family promptly sued the truck driver and his trucking company for the accident and won a $3 million ruling.

What this accident teaches us is that truck accidents aren’t always due to a driver that has not had enough rest. Sleepy drivers are one reason that truck accidents occur, but there are so many things that can go wrong with a truck or the driver that don’t involve a lack of rest by that driver. The truck could break down due to the company’s own cost-cutting measures, or a lack of proper maintenance and check-ups.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Federal jury awards $3 million to family of man killed on bridge in Louisiana, Mo.,” Valerie Schremp, June 24, 2014