Three tractor-trailers were involved in a crash that left one of the drivers dead last week on Interstate 80 near Bloomsburg, PA. Traffic was stopped while drivers were merging into the right lane due to nearby construction when the crash occurred. The truck driver who was killed failed to stop in time and smashed into a UPS freight truck that was stopped in front of him, causing that truck to crash into another truck.
Many people feel intimidated when sharing the highway with large tractor-trailers, and there is good reason to worry. When driving on the highway you are at a serious disadvantage if involved in a crash with a large truck. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, in crashes involving large trucks, the occupants of a car, usually the driver, sustain 78 percent of the fatalities.
Don’t cut in front of trucks or buses. Because of their weight, large trucks take longer (sometimes twice as long) to stop than smaller vehicles. Trucks also have many blind spots all around them, which is where truck-related crashes are more likely to happen. If you drive your vehicle into a blind spot, it may disappear from the truck drivers view. If you can’t see the truck driver in the truck’s mirror, then the driver can’t see you. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), about one-third of the accidents between cars and large trucks occur because of these blind spots.
The U.S. Department of Transportation released the following list of unsafe driving acts for car drivers to engage in when trucks are nearby:
• Distracted driving, such as texting or cell phone use.
• Improper merging into traffic, causing a truck to maneuver or brake quickly.
• Failure to stop at a light or stop sign.
• Failure to slow down in a construction zone.
• Driving at unsafe speeds.
• Following a truck too closely.
• Failure to slow down in inclement weather.
• Changing lanes too abruptly in front of a truck.
• Driving in a trucks blind spots – left rear quarter, right front quarter and directly behind.
• Unsafe turning.
When you share the road with tractor-trailers, knowing the dangers and how to address them can reduce your chances of an accident. Drive safely and buckle up when hitting the road.
If you have been injured in an accident, the personal injury lawyers at Munley Law can help. The Munley team has been representing truck accident victims in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey for more than 50 years. Visit www.munley.com to learn more.