Roadways Are Dangerous for Truckers Too

There has been much press lately about truck crashes and the danger to smaller vehicles due to truck driver error.  Due to the size of large trucks, the danger to smaller vehicles on the highway is indisputable. When there is a crash involving a truck and a smaller vehicle, often the occupants of the smaller vehicle do not fare well.  However, it is also important to understand that our roadways are dangerous for truckers too.

Truck drivers play a very important part in making our country run.  Look around any room and you’ll probably see the majority of the things are there because of truck drivers.

Hazardous Job

Our nation’s truck drivers have one of the country’s most hazardous jobs.  That’s not surprising since you can’t stop an 80,000 pound vehicle on a dime or easily swerve to miss obstacles in the road.  Also, with more cars on the roads than ever, there are more potential problems for truckers.

Research from 2013-2016 shows that bad weather caused 14.7 percent of accidents involving large trucks.  An accident involving a large truck on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge is drawing attention to some roadway dangers for truck drivers.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Accident

In 2017, Joseph Chen’s tractor trailer was blown off the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel during high winds.  At the time of the incident, winds were clocked at up to 50 mph.  Since the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel opened in 1964, at lease 16 vehicles have gone into the water.  A lawsuit filed in the Chen accident argues the Bridge should have been shut down during the high wind.

Most Dangerous Roads for Truckers in the U.S.

In a U.S. Department of Transportation study looking at data from 2013-16, the top 10 most dangerous roads in the United States for truck drivers were:

1)  Interstate 10 in Alabama

2)  Interstate 95 in Florida

3)  Highway 75 in Idaho

4)  Interstate 40 in Arkansas

5)  US 1 in Florida

6)  M-20 in Michigan

7)  Interstate 80 in Nebraska

8)  Highway 5 in Colorado

9)  Interstate 70 in Maryland

10)  SC-35 in South Carolina

Many of the accidents on these roadways were a result of bad weather conditions. Wind, rain, fog, snow and black ice were commonly reported in many of these accidents.

Another 30% of the crashes were caused by equipment failures including brakes, tires, lights, transmission failure, or vehicle overload.

How to Share The Road With Truckers

Knowing that our roadways are extremely dangerous for truck drivers and smaller vehicle drivers alike, what can we do to share the road with truckers?  Here are some tips to help everyone drive more safely around truck drivers:

Passing

If you have to pass a large truck on a highway, always pass to the left side.  Also, pass the truck as quickly and cautiously as possible.  Always remember that truck drivers have blind spots, so you should never just ride beside them unless it’s unavoidable.  If there is a car riding beside a large truck on the highway, there is a good chance that the truck driver will not see it.

Lighting

Don’t use your high beams when driving behind or passing a large truck.  Bright lights can temporarily blind a driver, which can then cause an accident.  It only takes a couple of seconds for a vehicle traveling at high speeds to travel the length of a football field.  So, in two seconds of headlight blindness, a large truck can be involved in a serious accident.

Distractions

When you are traveling down any roadway at any time, stay off the phone.  THIS IS IMPORTANT!  Texting while driving has caused many fatal accidents.  Also reaching for an item you’ve dropped or something in your glove compartment can be just as dangerous as texting since you have to take your eyes off the road.

Sharing the road with large trucks is a fact of life.  Knowing a truck driver’s limitations with visibility, turning, and braking are important for staying safe on the highways.

How Long Can I Wait to Call a Lawyer?

When you’re injured in an auto accident in Virginia, you must be aware of the statute of limitations which applies in your particular case. The statute of limitations refers to the time you have following an accident to file a lawsuit.  In Virginia, this time limit depends upon the circumstances of your accident and injury.  The time limitation starts to run on the date of the accident.  Filing a claim with an insurance company does not extend or delay the time.

The longer you wait to contact an attorney, the greater the risk that the statute of limitations time limit will expire. If it does, you may lose your right to sue the at-fault party and recover compensation for your injuries. If you’ve been seriously injured and someone else is at fault, you should contact a personal injury attorney at the earliest possible time.  Contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer early in your case will help prevent deadlines from expiring and will allow your case to be properly prepared.

To be able to determine whether you have a case, your lawyer needs to thoroughly investigate the details about your accident and injuries. Investigating the accident and collecting information is much easier if it occurs quickly after the accident has happened. A time delay can result in many problems like lost evidence and witnesses who can’t be found.

When you hire a lawyer to handle your car accident claim, he or she will first negotiate with the insurance company to try to settle your claim. If settlement negotiations break down, your attorney will prepare to file a lawsuit and prepare your case for trial. For this reason, it is especially important that you get an experienced lawyer to help with your case, such as one certified through the National Board of Trial Advocacy.

Talk with a Virginia Car Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one suffered significant injuries in a car accident in Virginia, Ritchie Law Firm is here to help.  The experienced, certified attorneys at the Ritchie Law Firm has helped thousands of injured victims and their families recover the compensation they deserve after an accident. Contact us by phone at 800-277-6124 or by using our online contact form.

Ritchie Law Firm is a personal injury law firm devoted to helping individuals who have suffered serious and catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence. Ritchie Law Firm serves all of Virginia, while helping clients in cities and surrounding areas of Winchester, Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, and Staunton, and also serves clients in West Virginia, including Martinsburg, WV.

**** Article photo courtesy of Trucker.com