DO AUTO DRIVERS HAVE THE POWER TO REDUCE THE PERILS PRESENTED BY TRUCKS?
“Driving doesn’t have to be perilous,” a recent IndyStar headline asserted, just four pages past their own front page story titled “Fatal Large Truck Crashes Escalate”.
But isn’t driving, in fact, quite perilous? Most deaths in large truck crashes are passenger vehicle occupants, explains the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, offering several reasons why drivers and passengers in cars face considerable peril from trucks:
- Trucks often weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger cars.
- Trucks are taller with great ground clearance, and smaller vehicles can “underride” them.
- Loaded tractor-trailers take 20-40% farther than cars to stop.
- Truck driver fatigue is a known crash risk.
Still, as several experts who spoke with IndyStar advise, there are steps drivers can take to defend against accidents caused by trucks:
- Stay attentive as you approach a work zone (one of the most dangerous situations for large truck crashes is when traffic slows quickly)
- Stay out of the truck driver’s blind spot (if you cannot see the truck driver or his mirrors, that truck driver cannot see you)
- Make sure you can see all of the cab in the rearview window before merging.
- Obey the speed limit.
- Use your turn signal.
- Put the phone down.
If, despite all these precautions, you or a family member is involved in a semi-truck or commercial truck accident, understand that the process is not going to be the same as a car accident injury claim. At Ramey & Hailey personal injury law firm, where we have been representing truck/auto collision injuries for more than 40 years, we know that injuries from a truck accident tend to be much more severe, with significant medical bills and months or even years of missed income. The trucker, in contrast, may be the employee of a multistate or even international conglomerate represented by a large legal team determined to pay as low an amount as possible.
As an auto driver, you do indeed have considerable power to reduce the perils presented by trucks on the road. But as the statistics cited in the IndyStar clearly demonstrate, crashes continue to cause serious injuries to auto drivers and their passengers. Those drivers and passengers are going to require some very serious legal help getting the compensation they need.