Truck accidents are frightening. The average passenger vehicle, pickup or SUV is tiny compared to the average semi truck, and when involved in a crash, the smaller vehicle and its occupants rarely fare well.

Among the most dangerous truck accidents are those where a moving truck rear-ends a stopped or slowly moving vehicle. These types of accidents often occur near construction zone or around earlier accidents, when traffic is brought to a crawl.

The speed differential can lead to devastating consequences when a large semi-truck plows into the rear of a stopped vehicle. Such was situation near Lake Ozark last week when a truck struck a car at the stop light, killed the two people in that vehicle and caused a chain-reaction crash that involved six additional vehicles, some of which caught fire.

The truck driver was arrested on charges of involuntary manslaughter and careless driving. The cause of the crash did not appear to be related to intoxication or drug use by the truck driver.

But sometimes accidents may be due to more than negligence on the part of a truck driver, who may have been fatigued or distracted by cellphone use. Poor highway design may play a part. Another report notes that this intersection of US-54 has had 15 accidents since 2009.

Local residents have called for an overpass to replace the stoplights, which forces drivers to slow from highway speeds approaching 70 mph to a complete stop. Traffic engineers often refuse to change intersections if there are insufficient accidents to warrant the enormous expense required to build such an intersection, but after the deaths of a mother and her daughter, they may find the money.