You aren’t just imagining it. There are more commercial trucks on the road than ever before. According to statistics from the trucking industry, around two-thirds of the nation’s freight is moved by semi-truck, and it takes about 3.5 million professional truck drivers to make it happen.
Considering the tens of millions of hours these truckers spend on the road, it isn’t surprising that truck accidents, too, are on the rise. Here in Kentucky and in neighboring Tennessee, news of a fatal truck accident, especially on an interstate highway, is a common occurrence. Yet, each commercial truck wreck is unique, with its own set of facts and likely causes.
Driving Tips to Avoid a Collision with an 18-Wheeler
As a motorist, there are some things that you can do to decrease the chances of being involved in an accident with a big truck. First of all, you can give the truck plenty of room to stop, change lanes, and proceed through intersections. Because of their size and weight, trucks are harder to control and slower to stop. “Cutting off” a truck or pulling out into an intersection as a truck approaches can result in a catastrophic accident.
Secondly, you can make it a point to stay visible to the trucker. This means not driving in blind spots (such as directly behind the truck) and avoiding passing on the right, if possible. When you do pass, do it in a timely manner. If a blowout should occur, you do not want to be directly beside a truck. Finally, a motorist should be especially careful when sharing the road with trucks during extreme weather conditions, since the truck is even more difficult to control and the driver may lack experience driving in bad weather.
Accidents Caused by Negligent or Reckless Truckers
While defensive driving can prevent some accidents, it cannot prevent all of them. Just like other drivers, commercial truck drivers sometimes disobey the rules of the road by speeding, failing to signal, ignoring traffic control devices, and not yielding the right-of-way. They can also engage in distracted driving (such as texting, using a cell phone, or using a GPS or onboard entertainment device) or drive while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
Fatigue can also be a factor in many truck wrecks. Although there are federal laws limiting the number of hours truckers are supposed to drive in a day, these laws are not always obeyed. Regulations concerning weight and maintenance are also ignored by some truckers and trucking companies, increasing the odds of an accident.
To Speak to a Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have been hurt in a truck wreck in Kentucky or Tennessee, you should speak to an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. You can bet that the trucker’s insurance company has had someone on the job from the moment they were notified of the accident. While you’ve been recovering from your injuries, they’ve been working on building their side of the case. To level the playing field, call the truck accident lawyers at English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley at (270) 781-6500 today.
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