A Reminder from Truck Accident Lawyers: Look out for Semis!
At Casper & Casper, our truck accident lawyers have seen up-close the devastation that these types of crashes can cause. We want you to stay safe on the road, and to know your rights if a crash happens to you.
In this post, we’ll cover the hows and whys of truck accidents: why they happen and how to stay safe, as well as what to do post-accident.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about truck accidents!
Truck Accidents on the Rise
Large trucks—like semi-trucks, flatbed trucks, garbage trucks, and others—are on the rise. The NHTSA reports that between 2016 and 2017 (the latest year for which data is available), truck accident fatalities increased nine percent. Of the more than 4,000 people killed, the vast majority (72 percent), were the drivers and passengers of other vehicles. The other 28 percent was made up of the truck drivers (18 percent) and non-drivers, like pedestrians (10 percent).
The cause of this rise in truck accidents isn’t completely clear, but there are a few factors likely at play.
There are more trucks on the road than ever before, as the U.S. moves away from shipping by rail. More trucks means more road congestion, and more opportunities for truck accidents (whatever the cause) to occur.
Some drivers aren’t used to sharing the road with so many trucks, and they make mistakes that cause accidents. However, many accidents are actually caused by truck drivers themselves.
Truck driver fatigue is a big problem that can be fatal. Simply as a function of the job, truck drivers often spend long hours on the road, driving hundreds of miles. Many are pressured by their employer to keep driving, long after they should stop, in order to meet delivery deadlines. Fatigue is common, and that fatigue can cause the driver to make serious driving mistakes or even fall asleep! In fact, the CDC reports that around 10-20 percent of fatal truck accidents involve a fatigued truck driver.
How to Stay Safe on the Road
Trucks aren’t going away anytime soon, so it’s important to learn how to stay safe. Trucks are different from other types of vehicles: they have more blind spots, they take longer to come to a complete stop, they can’t react or merge quickly, they make much wider turns, and they are hard to control when the wind picks up.
Do you know how to share the road safely with semi-trucks? Here are a few tips from our truck accident lawyers:
- Give them space. This is probably the most important tip. Give large trucks extra space to help keep you safe in a dangerous situation, like sudden stops, a truck rollover, or tire blowout.
Stay out of their blind spots. You might have seen this sign on the back of a large truck: “If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you.” Trucks have more blind spots, which you want to avoid. Make sure they can see you!
- Pass them safely. When passing, use the left lane. (In fact, it’s always a good idea to pass on the left, regardless of vehicle type.) A truck’s blind spots are somewhat smaller on the left side, so it’s more likely the truck driver will see you. Maintain a steady speed when passing, then leave a lot of room between your car and the truck behind you. You don’t want to cut off a truck!
- Pay attention around trucks. Large trucks are, well, large! That’s why you want to take extra care when driving around them. You don’t want to find yourself competing with a vehicle ten times the size of yours when merging!
What to Do after a Truck Accident
After a truck accident, it’s critical to make sure you are unharmed. Seek medical attention, calling 911 if necessary. You should also call the police, as a police report is important for the claims process. You’ll also need to get the information of everyone involved, including any witnesses. When possible, take photos of the scene and document what happened in your own words.
Because trucks are so large and heavy, truck accident injuries are common. If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a crash that wasn’t your fault, you may consider hiring a truck accident lawyer.
You have the right to file a personal injury suit to hold the truck driver, and/or his or her trucking company, financially responsible for your injuries. You can seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages caused by your injuries. With compensation, you can lessen your financial worries and focus on recovery!
Call Us Today
If you’re interested in speaking with a truck accident lawyer about your case, call us today! The attorneys at Casper & Casper are experienced, dedicated, and here to help you.
Contact us for your initial consultation in Cincinnati, Dayton, Middletown, or Hamilton.