Commercial truck accidents are not something we think about every day. Once you are involved in one; however, it can consume your every thought until your car is fixed and your injuries are healed. That could be months, years, and even longer depending on the severity of the crash. Let’s look at some statistics and tips to reduce your risk and possibly avoid an accident in the first place.
Approximately 130,000 individuals are injured in truck collisions each year. The presence of large trucks is also increasing. There are over 15.5 Million trucks on U.S. Roadways and the Department of Transportation reports 13% of those are Semi’s, Tractor Trailers and 18 wheelers. What can you do to avoid one of these potentially fatal accidents?
Here are some tips to remember:
- Respect the Size – trucks that travel with us can be up to 4 times the size of the vehicle we are in. Bigger trucks have a slower reaction time as they have more to move. R. E. S. P. E. C. T.
- Be Alert! – Two hands on the wheel at all times and stay engaged. Tire blow outs occur and you need to be alert to react properly.
- Pass with Care – make sure you see the entire truck before you move back into the lane after passing. Give additional 2 car lengths as a precaution.
- Communication is Key – if you see a truck signaling to move into your lane-communicate by flashing your brights 3 to 4 times and staying back the length of the truck plus 2 car lengths.
- Hang up and drive – Any distraction is the potential for disaster. Stay alert and focused on the road. Rule of thumb, even if your state allows calling; if it can wait, don’t call and NEVER text.
Severe accidents have sometimes resulted due to drivers’ lack of appropriate rest during their travels; or not ending their travel days by the federal regulations. We will dive more into federal regulations and the changes that are being made in our next article.
One of the most publicized large truck accidents involved Tracy Morgan, a well-known comedian in June of 2014. Morgan’s limo bus was struck in a 5 vehicle accident involving a Walmart truck after a performance in June of 2014. Morgan’s assistant Jeffery Millea and comedian friends Ardley Fuqua, Harris Stanton, and James McNair (Jimmy Mack) were also in the limo. Morgan, his assistant and two friends sustained serious injuries. James McNair was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Walmart truck admittedly had not slept in over 24 hours. This was not due to a directive from Walmart; but rather the driver’s own poor choice. Walmart accepted responsibility for the accident; settling with all parties for an undisclosed amount.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, please call Brooks Law Group at 888-We-Mean-It (888-936-3264).