Each year, tens of thousands of accidents involving tractor trailers and 18-wheelers occur in the United States. When one of these large commercial trucks hits a car, the occupants of the smaller vehicle are at a distinct disadvantage.
While federal law imposes obligations on truck drivers and trucking companies to assure that drivers are safe on the road, there are some steps all of us can take to avoid a serious or fatal accident with a semi.
- Do not drive after drinking alcohol or taking any sort of drug that impairs your coordination, reaction time or ability to make decisions. Staying alert can go a long way in preventing an accident with a large truck.
- Do not cut in front of tractor trailers and 18-wheelers. Cutting off large trucks can create a dangerous situation requiring emergency braking. Because it takes longer for these heavier vehicles to slow down, cutting off large trucks can cause a serious accident. When passing a truck, make sure you can see the front of the truck in your rear-view mirror before switching lanes.
- Avoid blind spots. Tractor trailers and 18-wheelers have large blind spots around the front, back and sides of the truck. If you cannot see the truck driver in the truck’s mirror, then the driver cannot see you.
- Be careful of trucks making wide right turns. Particularly in urban areas, truck drivers often must swing wide to the left to safely negotiate right turns and they are unable to see cars directly behind or beside them. Pay attention to truck signals and provide them with plenty of room to maneuver.
Of course, drivers should also always wear their safety belts. Wearing a safety belt is the single most important thing that drivers can do to save their lives if they are in an accident with a large truck.
If you or someone you love has been in an accident with a tractor trailer or 18-wheeler, contact an experienced truck accident attorney like those at Greenberg Stone and Urbano A knowledgeable truck accident attorney can assess your case and help you recover compensation for your injuries. To learn more, visit our website at www.truckaccident.sgglaw.com.