Being involved in a truck accident can be absolutely devastating. Large commercial vehicles have several characteristics that make accidents they’re involved in higher risk and potentially fatal. Due to their massive weight, the force of the impact they create in a collision is several times greater than that of smaller passenger vehicles. They require a greater stopping distance, and their size means that they are capable of riding or rolling over small cars.
However, while many commercial truck accidents are the result of the mistakes of the trucker or faults in the equipment, evidence from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration indicates that around half of the accidents involving commercial vehicles come about as the result of the drivers of passenger cars. Drivers in Georgia can mitigate their risk of being in a collision with a large commercial truck if they keep these tips in mind.
Stick to a Safe Following Distance
Drivers of passenger vehicles need to ensure that there is adequate space in front of them when they are following a truck. If you are driving too closely behind a large vehicle, your ability to see the road ahead of you will be greatly reduced. This will make it much more difficult to see oncoming road hazards, such as obstacles, sudden traffic, or deteriorating road conditions. Make sure that you have enough time to respond to unexpected occurrences by allowing for at least three seconds of following distance.
Similarly, you should take care to leave yourself enough room when you pass in front of a truck. Large commercial vehicles often need 90 percent more space to stop than smaller vehicles do. This means that you need to ensure that the truck has enough following distance behind your car as well. If you cut close in front of the truck you are passing, you are taking away this vital space.
Because they are larger, commercial trucks have larger blind spots than small cars do. The most substantial blind spot is on the truck’s passenger side, so drivers who are passing should always do so on the driver’s side of the truck. It is also important to avoid settling behind the truck or staying in the side lanes behind the truck’s cab doors. You can check your visibility if you look for the truck’s mirrors. If you are unable to see the truck driver’s face, the driver will be unable to see you.
Clear the Roadway
If you need to pull over on a highway, it is essential to get far enough off the road. It is perhaps surprisingly common for truck drivers who are momentarily incapacitated or inattentive to collide with a stopped vehicle. You can reduce the risk of this kind of accident by pulling over as far as possible.
Anticipate the Truck’s Turns
It is also important to use caution at intersections, where many truck collisions occur. When executing a turn, a truck generally needs to use multiple lanes or swing wide. It is important that other road users anticipate these actions. When you see a truck turning in a certain direction, do not attempt to pass it on the same side. Also, remember that truckers have limited rear visibility when they are taking a turn, so you should avoid following too closely behind a truck as it is turning.
It can be difficult to judge how quickly a truck is going or how much space it is going to use when turning. For this reason, it is always a good idea to use caution when approaching an intersection with a turning truck. If possible, you should allow the truck to complete its turn before you pass, turn, or enter the intersection yourself.
What Should You Do if You Were in an Accident with a Truck?
It is possible to be in an accident with a commercial truck, even if you are in the habit of following all the above tips every time you drive. If you were injured in a collision with a truck, and the accident was not your fault, you might be eligible for compensation. You should not be held responsible for the medical expenses to treat your injury or the lost wages due to missed time at work. You may even be eligible to make a financial claim for the physical and psychological pain and suffering you have experienced because of the accident.
If you were involved in an accident with a truck, it’s important to speak to a lawyer before speaking to the truck driver or talking to an insurance adjuster. You may want to to, if possible, take photos and video of the damage and scene and speak to any witnesses. Then, focus on getting medical attention to document your injuries.
Your lawyer can help you request the accident report and understand what’s written in it. They will also help you get the information from the truck driver’s log and gather all of the other important documents you need to support your case.
It is important to contact a lawyer immediately as it takes time to put together a successful claim. If you are considering filing a truck accident injury claim, contact the experienced Augusta truck accident lawyers of Chris Hudson Law Group today.
Contact an Experienced Georgia Truck Accident Attorney Today
Our founder, Chris Hudson, is a former insurance dispute lawyer and our team has successfully gotten compensation for hundreds of satisfied clients who depended on us when they were in a situation similar to yours.
We will fight for your best interests against the truck company’s insurance representatives. We’ll do everything we can to get you the full amount you are owed. Call us today at (706) 863-6600 or send us a message to set up a confidential consultation about your case. Let us help you understand what your legal options are.
Related reading: Augusta’s Most Dangerous and Deadly Roads