It is a common and scary occurrence when an 18-wheeler truck is driving alongside and suddenly merges onto a parkway forcing a driver into another lane or even off the roadway. These big 18-wheeler trucks have many more blind spots than a typical vehicle, which is why many accidents on the highway involve tractor-trailers. While the number of drivers on the road increases during the summer months, it is important to be educated on how to drive safely alongside an 18-wheeler truck.
For starters, an increase in the amount of vehicles on the road can be hazardous. Combining that with tractor-trailers on the road may bring an increased level of danger to those nearby. Tractor-trailers have blind spots in the front, sides and back, which may inhibit the driver’s ability to see a smaller vehicle. For instance, the driver of an 18-wheeler may switch lanes, nearly hitting you because he or she does not have great visibility due to blind spots. This can force the driver of a smaller vehicle to drive off of the road in an attempt to avoid being hit by the large tractor-trailer.
When driving next to an 18-wheeler, stay out of the trucks “danger zones!” This will help reduce the risk of accidents. The “danger zones” are 20 feet in front of the truck, 30 feet behind the truck, and on either side of the truck. It is important to avoid driving directly next to a big rig for any length of time, which is why it is important to pass alongside of the truck while on the highway, but only if you can do so safely. Additionally, it is important to continuously give a tractor trailer an immense amount of space because a typical big rig weighs 80,000 pounds, while a standard vehicle weighs 5,000 pounds.
Each year there are thousands of accidents involving tractor-trailers resulting in injuries and fatalities. In many of these instances, the truck's operator was found to be at fault for causing damage to the smaller vehicle. According to statistics, most accidents involving 18-wheelers have a higher rate of fatalities than any other automotive accident. In 2010, of the 286,585 million miles traveled by 1.1 million interstate motor carriers, 3,413 people died in accidents involving large trucks.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident involving tractor-trailer, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can fight for the compensation you deserve. Put the experienced personal injury attorneys of Georgaklis & Mallas PLLC on your side, so you and your family are able to receive the compensation the law provides. Contact (718) 238-2400 for a consultation today.