We've all experienced the close encounter with a large, overpowering, semi-truck on the highway. It can be a terrifying feeling.
Collisions with a tractor-trailer are devastating. When a 40-ton tractor-trailer crashes into a 2-ton car, the results can be catastrophic. Injuries include broken bones, cuts and bruises, whiplash, spinal cord injuries, brain damage, paralysis, disfigurement or death.
In 2008, over 4,200 people died in motor vehicle crashes involving large trucks. That's about 11.5 people per day. That same year, 90,000 people were injured in truck related crashes. In Georgia, 180 people died and 3,800 people were injured.
Trucking Regulations Are There To Keep You Safe
If you or a loved one have been injured in a wreck with an 18-wheeler or any other large truck or semi, it's important that you hire a lawyer experienced with handling tractor-trailer wrecks, as there are certain Federal & State regulations governing the trucking industry that must be considered. Some regulations include:
■ Monitoring Truckers' Logs (how long they've driven between rests)
■ Testing for Alcohol & Drugs
■ Monitoring a Truck's Load Capacity
■ Inspecting the Truck's Brakes and Other Safety Devices
■ Hiring regulations – to make sure drivers are qualified
Safety Tips To Follow When Driving Around Large Trucks
Although we can't avoid driving on roads with large trucks, we can keep ourselves safer by knowing a few statistics and following some safety tips:
The Georgia DOT keeps track of the average number of trucks travelling throughout the state of Georgia.
■ Most large trucks in Georgia travel along I-75 and I-285 in Atlanta.
■ In Bibb County, on average, over 9,100 trucks will travel the short stretch of I-475 each day. That's over 379 trucks per hour.
■ Most accidents involving large trucks happen Monday thru Friday during daytime hours.
■ If possible, we should avoid roads with heavily populated trucks during peak accident hours.
■ Don't follow large trucks too closely. If you can't see a truck's side mirrors, the truck driver can't see you.
■ Do not try to pass a truck on the right side when that truck is turning right. Trucks must swing wide to the left in order to make a right turn. They may not see you if you're passing them on the right.
■ To properly pass a large truck or bus on the highway, accelerate slightly and maintain a consistent speed. Wait until you see the entire cab in your rearview mirror before you signal and pull over.
■ Don't cut in front of a truck or bus. Large trucks and buses need more distance to stop. If you cut in front of a truck, the truck may not be able to stop in time, or may be forced to stop too quickly, resulting in a serious or fatal accident.
How We Can Help
The lawyers at Gautreaux Law have successfully handled tractor-trailer cases for well over a decade and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. If you have been injured in a trucking accident and need to speak with a lawyer please complete our contact form, or call us at 478-238-9758 for a free consultation.