Although truck accidents are often discussed in the media, there is one type of accident that still does not get much media attention: the truck accident involving suicide. Although it is hard for researchers to determine how many people commit suicide each year by stepping or driving in front of a truck, there is evidence that people do choose this method as a means to end their lives. Unfortunately, this method of ending their lives often leads to a truck accident that can cause serious brain injuries, broken bones, and unintentional fatalities to others.
Persons who are severely depressed and prone to suicide will sometimes drive in front of a truck in order to take their lives. Researchers believe that drivers rely on the deadly force of a truck to take their lives. It is not known how many car accidents involving trucks are suicides or suicide attempts, but researchers believe that in cases where a car is in an oncoming lane, for example, and does not move out of the way of a truck, these instances may be examples of suicide or suicide attempts. Studies have suggested that anywhere from 1.6% to 5% of vehicle crashes may be suicides or suicide attempts.
Another method people use in order to commit suicide is to walk in front of a truck on foot. In many cases, pedestrians step very suddenly in front of an oncoming truck and make no attempts to get out of the way. In many cases, researchers believe that these pedestrians know that the truck cannot brake on time and know that the impact will cause a fatal pedestrian accident.
Trying to commit suicide by stepping or driving in front of a truck can have serious results. In addition to the obvious result of a successful suicide attempt, suicidal drivers and pedestrians may survive the crash, and emerge severely injured. In addition, truck drivers may brake or stop suddenly, causing a secondary car accident or truck accident which claims a life or causes a severe injury to an innocent bystander or driver.
Many people who commit suicide by truck accident also cause severe distress for the truck driver involved. When a suicidal person steps or drives in front of a truck and is injured or killed, the truck driver often suffers extreme stress or trauma. Many truck drivers are unable to return to their jobs after such an incident and some relive the incident again and again in their minds. In many cases, such suicide attempts are especially cruel because they place the onus of the act on someone else – the truck driver – who is unable to stop the event and then suffers trauma because of it.
Unfortunately, in many cases, there are also many answers left after a truck accident caused by a suicidal person. There are many reasons why it is hard to determine which truck accidents may be caused by suicide attempts. In many cases, insurance considerations and the stigma of suicide make family members of the victim unwilling to share any information about the victim’s depression or suicidal thoughts. As well, if a victim does not leave a note, the physical evidence between a truck accident and a suicide attempt is not much different. In some cases, private investigators hired by personal injury attorneys have found that a suicidal driver applied pressure to a gas pedal rather a brake pedal, intentionally rushing at a truck. However, in many cases, such incidents rely on anecdotal or circumstantial evidence. One thing that is known in every case about these accidents: they cause everyone – including the victim’s family and the truck driver – a great deal of agony.